By Jennifer Newman on October 31, 2011
This Car Seat Check was originally published in July 2011 on MotherProof.com.
If it's got a backseat, we test it — even if it doesn't seem like a family car. Enter the 2012 Nissan GT-R. This performance car has a 530-horsepower V-6 and can seat four. The backseat's legroom is so limited that we found rear-facing car seats won't fit back there.
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 Nissan GT-R did in MotherProof.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: The GT-R's two sets of lower Latch anchors are impossible to use. The upper seat cushions end about an inch or two below the Latch anchors, making it impossible to connect to them. There's just no way to move the cushions out of the way.
The two tether anchors are also difficult to use (photo above). There's not enough clearance at the top of the tether anchors, which sit on the rear shelf under removable covers. This makes it difficult to connect the clip to the anchors. We had to flip the tether around to hook it up.
Booster seat: The rear seats are heavily bolstered and pushed the car seat off to the side. No amount of adjustments could fix the awkward angle. The seat belt buckles are floppy and sit on the outside of the seats. The buckle was easily pushed behind the booster, making buckling up difficult for an adult and nearly impossible for a child.
Convertible seat: Because we couldn't access the Latch anchors, we used a seat belt to install the forward-facing convertible. It fit, but a child's feet will be pushed into the front passenger's seatback. There's lots of legroom for the front passenger, so they'll need to share the legroom wealth. The rear-facing convertible didn't fit in the GT-R.
Infant-safety seat: This car seat also didn't fit in the GT-R.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, if they're forward-facing car seats.
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