By Jennifer Newman on January 18, 2012
The 2012 Buick Verano is built on the same platform as the popular Chevrolet Cruze, but the Verano is much more than a slightly nicer Cruze. This compact sedan has a plush, posh interior that could give parents pause. Do you really want to put your children and their sticky fingers in this five-seater? Go ahead and live a little. The Verano's standard leatherette and optional leather seats can be easily wiped down. However, we found that child-safety seats were a tight fit in Buick's new 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 Verano did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: The all-new Verano has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. The anchors sit deeply between the back and bottom seat cushions. Three tether anchors are on the rear shelf behind the backseat's head restraints. They were easy to use after we removed the head restraints.
Booster seat: The Verano's seat bolsters caused our high-back booster to sit at a slight angle. We ran into problems trying to use the seat belt buckle. The buckles are on stable bases but are deeply recessed into the seat cushion. Our car-seat installer had a difficult time buckling the seat belt. We can only imagine how much a young child would struggle with it.
Convertible seat: The forward-facing convertible fit easily in the Verano, but there wasn't a lot of legroom in the second row for any child riding in it. There'd definitely be some seat kicking. Somewhat surprisingly, we were able to fit the rear-facing convertible in the second row without moving the front passenger seat forward.
Infant-safety seat: We did have to adjust the front passenger seat to fit this rear-facing car seat. While we didn't have to move the front seat forward, we did have to adjust the seatback to an upright position, which our tester found nearly as uncomfortable as having her knees jammed into a glove box.
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