This Car Seat Check was originally published in August 2011 on MotherProof.com.
Volkswagen is ready for summer with its updated 2012 Eos. The hardtop convertible has sharper styling and a turbocharged four-cylinder for the 2012 model year. What it doesn't have is a sizable backseat. This convertible seats four, but we found fitting child-safety seats in the second row to be a challenge.
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 Eos did in MotherProof.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: The Eos has two sets of lower Latch anchors. They're buried in the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet, and the stiff back cushion made it difficult to get at them with our Latch connectors. Like many convertibles, the Eos doesn't have tether anchors.
Booster seat: The Eos' rear seats are narrow with large side bolsters that pushed our high-back booster toward the cupholders, which sit in the middle of the backseat. To fit the booster into the backseat, we had to wedge it into place. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases, but recessed in the seat cushion.
Convertible seat: Our Britax Roundabout didn't fit in the Eos because of the car seat's wide base and the convertible's narrow, bolstered seats. We were unable to install it in the forward- or rear-facing position. A narrower convertible seat might fit better.
Infant-safety seat: The side bolsters also got in the way when installing this rear-facing car seat. We were able to get it to fit, though. We had to move the front passenger seat forward, leaving just enough legroom for our 5-foot-8 tester to sit comfortably in the seat.
How many car seats fit in the second 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.