By Jennifer Newman on March 20, 2012
Cars.com's team of car-seat installers was foiled by the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover. Three people attempted to use the luxury SUV's Latch anchors to install our child-safety seats, but there was no joy. In frustration, we ended up using the midsize SUV's seat belts instead. It's just as safe to use a seat belt to install a child-safety seat as it is using the Latch system, which is supposed to be easier to use. That's not the case here.
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 Range Rover did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: There are two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. The seats' cushioning sits against the anchors, making it impossible to use them. We tested both rigid Latch connectors (on our convertible car seat) and traditional hook-like Latch connectors (on the infant-safety seat), but we couldn't hook the connectors onto the anchors. The seatbacks don't recline, so there was no way to open up the space between the back and bottom seat cushions.
The outboard tether anchors are midway down the seatbacks, and the middle seat's anchor is near the seatback in the cargo floor.
Booster seat: The high-back booster seat fit well in the backseat, with the seat bolsters cradling the child seat. The seat belt buckles are recessed in the bottom seat cushions and could be difficult for kids to use independently.
Convertible seat: To fit the forward-facing convertible, we had to remove the head restraint, which was no easy task. Because we couldn't access the Latch anchors, we used the Range Rover's seat belt to install this car seat. It fit well in the backseat. The rear-facing convertible also fit well in the backseat — after we installed it with a seat belt.
Infant-safety seat: There was plenty of room in the backseat for the rear-facing infant-safety seat. This car seat was also installed with a seat belt.
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