By Jennifer Newman on November 1, 2011
This Car Seat Check was originally published in September 2011 on MotherProof.com.
With seating for seven or eight passengers, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse can easily handle a large family in its three rows. For our Car Seat Check, we tested a Traverse with eight seats.
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 2012 Traverse did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: With eight seats in it, the Traverse has just two sets of lower Latch anchors. They're in the second row's outboard seats. On the passenger side, one of the Latch anchors sits close to the seat belt buckle, making it difficult to connect the rigid anchors on our convertible car seat.
There are three tether anchors on the second row's seatbacks and one tether anchor in the third row. All are easy to use.
Booster seat: Our high-back booster fit well in the second row, and the seat belt buckles sit on high, stable bases that would be easy for kids to use independently.
The third row's flat seat made it an easy fit for the booster seat. During our Car Seat Check, we installed a convertible car seat in the third row's middle seat and found we could fit our booster seat to the left of it, but there wasn't enough space to the right of the convertible for the booster. The third-row seat belts are a mixed bag. The driver-side buckle is floppy, but the other two buckles are on stable bases.
Convertible seat: We struggled to install both the forward- and rear-facing convertibles because of the hard-to-access inboard Latch anchor. Once installed, both seats fit well in the Traverse's second row.
The forward-facing convertible also fit well in the third row (below), which doesn't have any Latch anchors. We used a seat belt to install the car seat.
Third-row access: With a three-seat bench in the second row, the 60/40-split bench can fold and slide forward to create access to the third row.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
How many car seats fit in third row? Two
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