3 Across Car Seat Guide

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

Minicars (Subcompacts)

Chevrolet Sonic / Aveo.
Ford Fiesta
.
Honda Fit
.
Hyundai Accent.
Kia Rio.
Nissan Versa Note.
Toyota Prius C.
Toyota Yaris.

Small Cars (Compacts)

Chevrolet Cruze.
Chevrolet Volt.
Fiat 500L.
Ford C-Max.
Ford Focus.
Honda Civic.
Hyundai Elantra.
Kia Forte.
Kia Soul.
Mazda 3.
Nissan Leaf.
Nissan Sentra.
Subaru Crosstrek / Impreza.
Toyota Corolla.
Toyota Prius.
Volkswagen Golf / GTI.

Midsize Cars (Luxury)

Acura ILX.
Acura TLX, TL, TSX
.
Audi A3.
Audi A4
.
BMW 3 Series
.
Infiniti Q50.
Lexus ES.
Mercedes C-Class.
Volvo S60.
Volvo V60.

Midsize Cars (Moderately-priced)

Chevrolet Malibu.
Ford Fusion.
Honda Accord
.
Hyundai Sonata.
Kia Optima.
Mazda 6.
Nissan Altima.
Subaru Legacy.
Subaru Outback.
Toyota Camry.
Toyota Prius V.
Volkswagen Jetta.
Volkswagen Passat.

Large Cars (Full-sized cars)

Acura RLX.
Audi A6
.
BMW 5 Series
.
Chevrolet Impala
.
Chrysler 300.
Dodge Challenger.
Dodge Charger.
Ford Taurus
.
Infiniti Q70 / M.
Mercedes E-Class.
Toyota Avalon.

Cars No Longer In Production

Chrysler 200.
Chrysler HHR
.
Dodge Caliber
.
Dodge Dart.
Scion xB.
Volvo S80.
Volvo XC70.

across car seat installations in SUVs and Crossovers

Small SUVs

Buick Encore.
Chevrolet Trax.
Ford Escape
.
Honda CR-V.
Honda HR-V.
Hyundai Tucson.
Jeep Compass.
Jeep Renegade.
Kia Sportage.
Mazda CX-5.
Mitsubishi Outlander.
Nissan Rogue.
Subaru Forester.
Toyota Rav4.
Volkswagen Tiguan.

Midsize SUVs (Luxury)

Acura MDX.
Audi Q5.
BMW X3
.
BMW X5
.
Cadillac SRX.
Infiniti QX60 / JX35.
Lexus GX.
Lexus NX.
Lexus RX.
Mercedes-Benz GLK / GLC-Class.
Mercedes-Benz M / ML / GLC-Class.
Volvo XC60.
Volvo XC90.

Midsize SUVs (Moderately-priced)

Chevrolet Equinox
.
Dodge Durango.
Dodge Journey.
Ford Edge
.
Ford Explorer.
Ford Flex.
GMC Terrain.
Honda Pilot.
Hyundai Santa Fe.
Jeep Cherokee.
Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Jeep Wrangler.
Kia Sorento.
Mazda CX-9.
Nissan Murano.
Nissan Pathfinder.
Toyota 4Runner.
Toyota Highlander.

Large SUVs

Audi Q7.
Buick Enclave
.
Chevrolet Suburban.
Chevrolet Tahoe.
Chevrolet Traverse
.
Ford Expedition.
GMC Acadia.
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.
Nissan Armada.
Toyota Sequoia.

Crossovers and SUVs No Longer In Production

Ford Freestyle / Taurus X.
Jeep Commander.
Jeep Patriot.
Saturn Outlook.

across car seat installations in Minivans

Chrysler Pacifica.
Chrysler Town & Country
.
Dodge Grand Caravan
.
Honda Odyssey.
Kia Sedona.
Nissan Quest.
Toyota Sienna.

across car seat installations in Pickups

Chevrolet Colorado.
Chevrolet Silverado
.
Dodge Ram
.
Ford F-150.
Honda Ridgeline.
Toyota Tacoma.
Toyota Tundra.

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.

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

35,000 Americans will die this year on the road. You don't have to be one of them. A car seat and car safety blog to promote best practices for families.