By Jennifer Newman on October 31, 2011
This Car Seat Check was first published in June 2011 on MotherProof.com.
The 2011 Nissan Murano is a large crossover that accommodates five passengers. It's also one of the few cars we've tested recently that can fit three child-safety seats across the second row.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.
Here's how the 2011 Murano did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: The Murano has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row's outboard seats. The outboard anchors, which are closest to the doors, are easy to use, but the inboard anchors - closest to the middle seating position - are obstructed by seat belt buckles. There are three easy-to-use tether anchors on the seatbacks.
Booster seat: We had a few problems with the fit of our high-back booster seat. The head restraint pushed the booster's seatback forward, but this was easy to solve by removing the head restraint. The seat belt buckles also were an issue because they're floppy and positioned too far inward, so it sat too close to the booster seat base, making it easy for the booster to ride over the buckles.
Convertible seat: The reclining seatback ensured a good fit for the forward-facing convertible seat. The rear-facing convertible had plenty of room in the second row. The only hitch we ran into with both car seats was using the difficult-to-access Latch anchor.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Three
Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Newman is a certified car-seat technician. A mom of two, she owns a 2013 Subaru Outback crammed with sports gear. Email Jennifer