Best Cars That Fit 3 Car Seats in The Back (in Australia)

Honda CR V

As anyone who has children will tell you, starting a family requires you to sacrifice all kinds of things: the ability to sleep in on weekends (or ever, frankly) or go to the pub whenever you feel like it. You’ll also discover that your bank balance has a persistent leak that you will never, ever be able to fix.

You’ll also have to make some upsetting sacrifices in terms of what car you drive, since a Porsche Boxster isn’t really going to cut it when you’re doing the school run, or are sent to collect a small army’s worth of groceries.

If you’ve really gone and out and decided to have three children, your options become even more limited, due to the fact that cars that fit 3 baby seats in the rear aren’t as plentiful as what you might hope.

Before we get more into the best cars to fit 3 child seats, though, let’s take a look at the types of restraints on offer:

– Rearward-facing restraints/baby capsules

– Forward-facing restraints

– Booster seats

– Adult seatbelts

The law and age breakdown for each of these is as follows:

– Babies under 6 months must use a rearward-facing restraint

– Children 6 months to 4 years must use either a rearward or forward-facing restraint

– Children 4 to 7 years must use either a forward-facing restraint or a booster seat

– Children over 7 must use a booster seat until they’ve outgrown it, then use an adult seatbelt

Even though the manufacturers of the above restraints make it relatively easy to install the seats yourself, it’s still recommended that you get them professionally fitted by an authorised fitting station for maximum protection and peace of mind.

You should also make sure that any restraint meets the Australian Standard and has the maximum safety rating.

Most new cars now come with ISOFIX points for child restraints – these offer additional safety via lower anchorage points, as well as an easier way to fit the restraints without the need to use a seatbelt.

In this country, ISOFIX seats do require a top tether to combat any possible twisting or turning, however, plus the connectors need to be a certain distance apart, which means that some cars aren’t able to accommodate 3 across car seats that have ISOFIX connection points.

Having said that, most ISOFIX restraints can also be fitted via the conventional method, with a seatbelt and top tether, so they can still be used regardless of whether or not the vehicle has two or three ISOFIX connection points.

Size matters

If you want to put 3 baby capsules or 3 booster seats in a row on the back seat of a car, it might behoove you to grab a tape measure and do things the old-fashioned way: measure the width of your three restraints, measure the back seat area of the vehicle you have your eye on, and figure out if it’s a match made in baby-capsule heaven (or not). Here’s a hint, though, you’re going to need a lot of space.

Car dealers, whose main objective is to sell you a car, will likely be more than happy for you to place your three restraints in a demonstrator model to see if they fit. Sure, such an effort might be a bit of a hassle, but it’s certainly not as bad as getting your new car home and realising it’s perhaps not the best vehicle for 3 rear facing car seats.

Five-seater cars that fit 3 car seats in Australia

4. Mazda CX-5

This mid-size SUV has three top tether points behind the seat backs, meaning you can safely secure three child restraints (remember, though, to do some measuring prior to make sure that everything will fit properly).

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – on the two outer seats in the rear.

3. Hyundai Tucson

A popular SUV for growing families, the Tucson has the ability to fit three child seats in the back, with the added bonus of being arguably the best-looking compact SUV on the market.

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – on the two outer seats in the rear.

2. Subaru Forester

Subaru has a range of great SUVs for growing families, and the Forester can comfortably fit three child restraints or booster seats placed next to each other in the rear.

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – on the two outer seats in the rear.

1. Honda CR-V

The Japanese car manufacturer’s first-ever SUV has been a perennial favourite as a family car over the years, and there are three top tether points in the rear, allowing you to fit three restraints in.

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – on the two outer seats in the rear.

Seven-seater cars that fit 3 car seats in Australia

4. Audi Q7 (Q5)

If the five seats to be found in an Audi Q5 need to be upgraded due to you adding another kid to your brood, you could do a lot worse than the Audi Q7, a seven-seater which gives you the option of having anywhere up to five child restraints or booster seats in the rear. It is a LOT of car, though. (And take a deep breath before you Google the prices.)

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – one for each of the five seats in the rear.

3. Mitsubishi Pajero

The Mitsubishi Outlander comes as both a five-seater and a seven-seater, but it’s not an ideal choice for multiple child seats. Instead, try the Pajero, which can fit three child seats across the second-row using the seat belts and top tether anchorages (the third-row has no top tether anchorages, just in case you’re thinking of upping your kid count from three).

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – on the two outer seats in the second row.

2. Kia Sorento

This large seven-seater is Kia’s flagship SUV, and, like the Mitsubishi Pajero, it has three top tether anchorage points in the second row of seats, but none in the third row.

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – on the two outer seats in the second row.

1. Volvo XC90

Volvo’s seven-seater XC90 is one of ANCAP’s top 10 rated safest family cars, and it can comfortably fit three child seats or restraints in the second row. The XC90 also comes with an integrated child seat in the second seat row, which is suitable for children who weigh 15-36kg and are at least 97cm tall.

Basically a built-in booster seat, it is, as any parent who’s seen one will tell you, one of the great inventions of our time as it means you’ll never have to buy worry about carrying a just-in-case booster seat, because you’ve got them built in. Every car should have this feature, truly. Okay, maybe not a Porsche Boxster.

Are there any ISOFIX points: Yes – on the two outer seats in the second row.

By Stephen Corby

 

*Disclaimer: Prices, features, warranties and other information that may be shown in this editorial content (Review Information) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (CAMS) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Information was correct at the time of publication. CAMS does not warrant or represent that the Review Information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon the Review Information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.


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