3 Across Installations: Which Car Seats Fit a Hyundai Elantra?

The Hyundai Elantra (and its hatchback version, the Elantra GT) is one of the fastest-growing competitors in the small car segment in the United States, competing with more established compact sedans and hatchbacks like the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Cruze, Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Scion xB, and Subaru Crosstrek. Compared to the other vehicles in its segment, the Elantra is cheaper than almost all of them, yet manages to keep up with the latest safety features present in its fellow small cars, and features good moderate overlap, side impact, and roof scores, as well as an acceptable small overlap front crash score. Naturally, the basics like ESC and side airbags are also present.

I borrowed a couple of Elantras this week to put them through their paces with some of my narrowest and not-so-narrow car seats. My goal was to see just how friendly the back row was for 3 across installations. It’s a small car, so I wasn’t expecting miracles, but I was still pleasantly surprised with its abilities. Before we take a look at what worked and what didn’t, let’s look at some best practice suggestions for car seat safety.

First of all, make your goal to keep your kids rear-facing for as long as possible (ideally until 4!), before forward-facing them in harnessed convertible or combination seats (ideally until 8!). When we rear-face our kids, we give them the best chances of walking away from severe collisions, and there are several seats (e.g., the Fllo, the Foonf, the Rainier, and the Pacifica) that can let your kids rear-face throughout the preschool years and into kindergarten. Once your kids are past the rear- and forward-facing stage, I recommend using high-back boosters until they’re ready to use adult seat belts (which typically happens between 10 and 12). Keeping kids safely restrained for as long as possible can only help them.

Keeping these ideas in mind, I set to work to find which infant, convertible, combination, and booster seats would work best in 3 across combinations in the Hyundai Elantra. The usual suspects are here, as well as a few surprises. 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.

elantra - 2016 - publicdomain2016, 2017 Hyundai Elantra (AD)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Clek Oobr (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65, Diono Radian / RXT.

Chicco KeyFit 30Clek Fllo, Chicco KeyFit 30.

Tips and Tricks:

The current generation of the Hyundai Elantra is just under 180 inches long and just under 71 inches wide, making it the largest Elantra ever available. The additional width means it will be slightly easier to install car seats in 3 across positions with seat belts; you’ll still want to avoid LATCH to make the most of the limited rear space.

elantra - 2012 - publicdomain2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Hyundai Elantra (MD)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Clek Oobr (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65, Diono Radian / RXT.

Chicco KeyFit 30Clek Fllo, Chicco KeyFit 30.

Tips and Tricks:

The 2011-2015 generation of the Hyundai Elantra is between 178 and 179 inches long and 70 inches wide. This is rather typical for a small or compact-sized car in terms of width, and a bit longer than average in terms of length. However, you’re still going to have a bit of a challenge getting side-to-side space as well as front-to-back space. You’ll definitely want to use your seat belts on all three seats and save LATCH for situations where you only need to install one or two seats at a time.

If you’re planning on buying a Radian and rear-facing with it, go ahead and throw the angle adjuster into your shopping cart as well; it’s cheap and it’ll make driving or being a front-seat passenger a lot more pleasant.

elantra - 2007 - publicdomain2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Hyundai Elantra (HD)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65, Diono Radian / RXT.

Chicco KeyFit 30Clek Fllo, Chicco KeyFit 30.

Tips and Tricks:

The 2007-2010 generation of the Elantra is 177 inches long and 70 inches wide, or about 1-2 inches shorter than the following generation. The width remains the same, which means your 3 across abilities will be essentially identical across the two generations. Once again, you’ll definitely want to use your seat belts on all three seats and save LATCH for situations where you only need to install one or two seats at a time.

As stated above, if you’re planning on buying a Radian and rear-facing with it, go ahead and throw the angle adjuster into your shopping cart as well; it’s cheap and it’ll make driving or being a front-seat passenger a lot more pleasant.

elantra - 2001 - publicdomain2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Hyundai Elantra (XD)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Tips and Tricks:

The 2001-2006 generation of the Elantra is 177-178 inches long in the sedan and hatchback versions and 68 inches wide in both models, or about  2 inches narrower than the following generation. This generation, as a result, will be a very challenging one to make work for 3 across installations, even though it’s definitely possible. Once again, you’ll definitely want to use your seat belts on all three seats and save LATCH for situations where you only need to install one or two seats at a time.

As stated above, if you’re planning on buying a Radian and rear-facing with it, go ahead and throw the angle adjuster into your shopping cart as well; it’s cheap and it’ll make driving or being a front-seat passenger a lot more pleasant.

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 any purchases, car seat-related or not. Canadians can shop through this link for Canadian purchases.

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