3 Across Installations: Which Car Seats Fit In a Ford Focus?

The Ford Focus is one of the most popular small cars currently available in the United States, competing with offerings like the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Kia Soul, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius, and Scion xB among families interested in smaller yet quality vehicles for life in urban and suburban environments.

The current generation of the Ford Focus is available in both sedan and hatchback options, making it a competitive model for families with greater storage needs than those typically available in small-sized cars, with the exceptions of the Soul, Prius, and xB, which come with hatchbacks by default. I borrowed one this weekend in order to see how it would do when it came to fitting 3 car seats in a Ford Focus. My results are below.

Before reviewing the results, however, it’s a good idea to remember what we’re looking for when it comes to using car seats in vehicles. You know 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 8!), and then booster until a regular belt fits your child (which typically happens between 10 and 12). Keeping children in safer restraints for longer amounts of time reduces their odds of injury or death in car crashes.

However, to make use of that information, the first step is to figure out which car seats are and aren’t going to puzzle well in the Ford Focus, which is where the guide below comes in. It’s not a complete guide, and I’ll certainly be adding to it more in the future, but for now, it gives you a good idea of the kinds of car seats that are and aren’t likely to fit in your Ford Focus, particularly if it’s the current generation model. The good news is that you can definitely fit infant seats, convertible seats, combination seats, and booster seats in the Ford Focus, and even fit 3 of them across without too much trouble.

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

focus - 2013 - publicdomain2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Ford Focus

Guaranteed 3 across installations: 

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Clek Oobr (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x3).

Graco Contender (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Cybex Aton 2, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Graco Snugride 30, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.


Tips and Tricks:

This generation of the Ford Focus is 179 inches long and 72 inches wide in the sedan version and 172 inches long in the hatchback version, making it very similar to the current generation Ford Escape in its 3 across capabilities. You’ll want to prioritize seat belt installations to give yourself more room than what you’d have available in LATCH installations. The Snugride / Radian / Radian fit will be tighter than the Aton 2 / Radian / Radian fit, but both should work.

focus - 2009 - publicdomain2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Ford Focus

Guaranteed 3 across installations: 

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Diono Radian / RXT (x3).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x3).

Graco Contender (x3).

Tips and Tricks:

This second generation of the Ford Focus is 175 inches long and 68 inches wide, or 4 inches narrower than the third generation Focus. Practically speaking, this means that you’re going to have much less space for viable 3 across installations than you would in the current generation, although it’s definitely still possible to get several seats there with patience and judicious use of seat belts.

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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