By Jennifer Newman on March 1, 2012
Little has changed in the 2012 Land Rover LR4 from the 2011 model year. That's good for our car-seat-installing purposes since the LR4 is one of the few vehicles that can easily handle three car seats in its second row.
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 LR4 did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: Even though the LR4 has seating for seven, there are only two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row's outboard seats. The anchors are easy to use because they sit out in the open between the back and bottom cushions.
In the second row, there are three tether anchors that are midway down the seatbacks. For the third row, the anchors are in the rear lip of the cargo area (photo above). This placement causes the tether straps to intrude into the cargo area, which is in short supply when the third row is in use.
Booster seat: Our high-back booster seat fit well in the second row, but the seat belt buckles are floppy, which means they're difficult for younger kids to use independently.
In the third row, the seat belt buckles are on stable bases, which we prefer for young kids. The booster seat also fit well in the second row.
Convertible seat: The second row's large head restraint pushed our forward-facing convertible forward slightly on the bottom seat cushion, but it still rested completely on the cushion. When in the rear-facing position, the convertible fit only after we moved the front passenger seat forward significantly. This left the front passenger without enough legroom to sit comfortably.
In the third row, we installed the forward-facing convertible with a seat belt because there aren't any Latch anchors back there. It fit well, but the third row is difficult to fold into the floor; it's a multistep process that's not intuitive.
Infant-safety seat: There's also not a lot of room in the second row for this rear-facing car seat. Though we had to move the front passenger seat forward to get the infant seat to fit, there was slightly more legroom for the front passenger.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Three
How many car seats fit in third 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