By Jennifer Newman on November 10, 2011
With seating for seven and a low starting MSRP of $21,250, the 2012 Kia Sorento is on a lot of parents' must-see lists when car shopping. Despite its less-than-ample legroom in the second and third rows, the Sorento did well in our Car Seat Check. One knock against it, though, is it doesn't have any tether anchors in the third row, so a forward-facing convertible car seat can't be installed there. That could frustrate a family with three or more kids.
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 Sorento did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: In this three-row crossover, there are only two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row's outboard seats. Stiff seat cushions make it difficult to use the Latch anchors, but reclining the seatbacks helps expose the anchors a bit. The second row also has the Sorento's only tether anchors. There are three of them, and they're midway down the seatbacks. They're also much easier to use than the Latch anchors.
Booster seat: Our high-back booster seat fit well in the second row. The seat belt buckles are floppy, making it difficult for younger kids to use independently. The third row's flat, wide seats made it easy to get a good fit for the booster. The seat belt buckles also are floppy in the third row.
Third-row access: The Sorento's second row is split 60/40, and the seats tumble forward to create a pathway to the third row. If a child-safety seat is installed in this position, it could be difficult for a child to easily get 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