3 Across Installations: Which Car Seats Fit a Mercedes C-Class?

The Mercedes C-Class sedan is one of the safest cars you can buy these days in the United States when it comes to its ability to help you survive a side impact crash, and is also one of the safest cars on the market in terms of actual driver death rates. I’ve written about side impact ratings and ranked the best cars for surviving side collisions here, as well as the safest cars for families in terms of driver survival here, and the C-Class is one of the most side impact-resistant cars out there at the moment, as well as one of the cars drivers are least likely to die in, with a driver death rate of 7 and 10 in the 4WD and 2WD ’08-’11 models respectively. In other words, much like its bigger sibling the E-Class, it’s a safe car.

Partly due to its reputation for safety and partly due to its MB legacy , the C-Class sedan also competes well within the mid-sized luxury market (which includes vehicles like the Acura TLX, Infiniti Q50, Volvo S60, BMW 3 Series, and Audi A4) among families interested in safe and comfortable transportation for themselves and their little ones. Let’s take a look at how the C-Class sedan does in the most practical of quests: fitting 3 car seats across its back row of seats. Before doing so, however, a quick review of best practices in seating choices is always useful.

I always advocate beginning with rear-facing, and continuing to do so with young children for as long as possible (ideally until 4!). After rear-facing, next comes forward-facing in harnessed convertible or combination seats (ideally until 8!). Once kids are too big for forward-facing harnessed seats, booster seats are the next step until they pass the 5-step test for using adult vehicle seats and adult seat belts (which typically happens between 10 and 12). The longer you keep your kids safely restrained, the better their odds of crash survival.

With these ideas in mind, I borrowed a few C-Class sedans and tried out a variety of convertible, infant, and combination seats to see which 3 across car seat combinations were most likely to work for most parents. The list is small, but it’s accurate. If you find the list helpful when shopping for car seats, you can shop through my Amazon link below. I’ll add more seats as I test them over time.

You can access the complete 3 across guide for every vehicle here and the complete list of recommended seats here. The Canadian car seat guide is here. 3 across car seat images are courtesy of Wikipedia.

c-class-w205-publicdomainb2015, 2016, 2017 Mercedes C-Class

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco Nautilus.

Britax Parkway SGL, Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Graco Snugride 35, Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Parkway SGL, Britax Marathon G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Britax Marathon G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Tips and Tricks:

The current generation of the Mercedes C-Class is 185 inches long and 71 inches wide, which places it on the narrower end of most mid-sized family cars. It’s narrower than a Camry or Accord, for instance. That said, it’s wider than a Civic, and there’s a lot of potential within it if you’re willing to take your time and use seat belt installations instead of the LATCH system, which I always recommend doing in 3 across setups.

c-class-w204-publicdomain2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Mercedes C-Class

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco Nautilus.

Britax Parkway SGL, Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Graco Snugride 35, Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Parkway SGL, Britax Marathon G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Britax Marathon G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT.

Tips and Tricks:

The 2009-2014 generation of the Mercedes C-Class is 182 inches long and 70 inches wide, or 3 inches shorter and 1 inch narrower than the succeeding generation. It’s still a decent vehicle for 3 across setups, but you’ll have to work for it a bit more than you would with the newest C-Class. Again, take your time, use your seat belts for additional side-to-side room, and you’ll find a lot more combinations are possible than what you’d expect from a peek at the back seat.

If you find the information on car safety, recommended car seats, and car seat reviews on this car seat blog helpful, you can bookmark and shop through this Amazon link. Canadians can bookmark and shop through this link.

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