By Jennifer Newman on October 31, 2011
This Car Seat Check was first published in September 2011 on MotherProof.com.
With its redesign, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat has grown in length, and it shows in the interior. The new sedan is 4 inches longer than the outgoing model, creating to a lot of legroom. There's so much backseat legroom that the Passat easily sailed through our Car Seat Check.
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 Passat did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: The Passat has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. While they're not visible, it wasn't difficult to locate the anchors in the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet.
The Passat's three tether anchors are found on the rear shelf behind the head restraints. They sit under hinged plastic covers. It's difficult to see the tethers because of the head restraints and roofline, but we could feel our way through it.
Convertible seat: Both the forward- and rear-facing convertible fit well in the Passat.
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.
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