3 Across Installations: A Guide To Which Car Seats Will Fit in Every Vehicle (Cars, Minivans, SUVs, and Pickups)
When it comes to car safety, you can focus on driving safely and you can focus on choosing a safe car. However, if you have children, you also need to focus on choosing a safe car seat. This is one of a series of reviews and guides I’ll write on how well some of the best car seats currently available in the United States fit (or don’t fit) particular cars. I will also include information on puzzling combinations I’ve seen, in terms of which seats fit nicely (or not so nicely) with others in particular vehicles when installed with LATCH systems or seat belts.
You might already be familiar with the basics of best practices in car seat safety: rear-face as long as possible (ideally until 4!), and then forward-face as long as possible (ideally until 6!), and then booster until a regular belt fits your child (which typically happens between 10 and 12). These are my suggestions for keeping kids restrained as well as possible during their most vulnerable years of physical development.
However, for this information to be helpful, you need to know if a particular car seat will fit in your particular vehicle. Here are my experiences fitting a range of seats inside various years of every car, minivan, pickup, and SUV I’ve had the chance to explore, big and small. My focus is on 3 across compatibility, but I’ll also include tips and tricks I’ve found helpful with difficult installations. I’ll periodically update each page as I try more seats in more positions.
I have also begun to review vehicles that are no longer in production; their 3 across guides are located beneath the applicable section (e.g., cars no longer in production are after the car section).
You can find reviews of the seats that I consider the best infant seats, convertibles, combinations, and boosters here. The list of Canadian recommended car seats is here.
If you’re in a hurry, here are the narrowest car seats that will fit 3 across in (almost) any vehicle. And if you’re looking for infant seats in particular, here are 4 narrow infant seats that you can use for 3 across in almost any vehicle.
Jump to 3 across car seat installations in
Cars, SUVs / Crossovers, Minivans, or Pickups.
3 across car seat installations in Cars
Small Cars (Compacts)
Subaru Crosstrek / Impreza.
Volkswagen Golf / GTI.
Midsize Cars (Luxury)
Midsize Cars (Moderately-priced)
Large Cars (Full-sized cars)
Cars No Longer In Production
3 across car seat installations in SUVs and Crossovers
Midsize SUVs (Luxury)
Infiniti QX60 / JX35.
Mercedes-Benz GLK / GLC-Class.
Mercedes-Benz M / ML / GLC-Class.
Midsize SUVs (Moderately-priced)
Hyundai Santa Fe.
Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Crossovers and SUVs No Longer In Production
3 across car seat installations in Minivans
3 across car seat installations in Pickups
If you’d like more information on many of the individual seats mentioned in the articles above, you can read reviews of car seats I recommend here. The truth is that there are safe car seats available at every budget and to fit every vehicle; I’ll continue to review vehicles and seats in effort to make this the most detailed list of 3 across installations available on the Internet.