2012 Subaru Impreza: Car Seat Check

About the only thing left untouched in Subaru's redesign of the 2012 Impreza was its standard all-wheel drive — or maybe it just seems that way. Both the Impreza hatchback and sedan have new looks inside and out as well as a new engine and improved gas-mileage numbers. The number that matters most to us is 2, as in the 2 inches of additional rear legroom in the Impreza. For our Car Seat Check, we tested the Impreza sedan.

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 Impreza did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:

Latch system: The Impreza has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. They sit behind small flaps and are easy to reach. There are three tether anchors (photo above) on the Impreza's rear shelf. The tether anchors are under hinged plastic covers and easy to use.

Booster seat: The high-back booster seat fits well in the Impreza, but buckling the seat belt could be difficult for younger children. The seat belt buckle is floppy, and it sits too close to the booster's base, making it hard to grasp.

Convertible seat: Both the forward- and rear-facing convertible fit well. However, we did have to fight our way past a seat belt buckle when using the inboard Latch anchor on the passenger side.

Infant-safety seat: To get this rear-facing car seat to fit, we had to move the front passenger seat forward one click. The front passenger had plenty of legroom.

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.

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