By Jennifer Newman on May 4, 2012
Though it's a midsize sedan, the 2012 Buick LaCrosse is on the larger side of the class. This allows it to comfortably fit three passengers in its backseat, but child-safety seats often take up more backseat real estate. The LaCrosse nearly fit three car seats across the second row, but we couldn't reach the seat belt buckle next to the booster seat, disqualifying it from our three car-seat list. If you're trying to fit three convertible or infant seats across the LaCrosse's backseat, you might have better luck.
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 shorter adult 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 LaCrosse did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: There are five lower Latch anchors in the backseat, with two sets of anchors in the outboard seats and a single anchor in the middle seat. This Latch placement allows a child-safety seat to be installed with Latch anchors in any seating position. In cars with only two sets of lower Latch anchors, a car seat in the middle seat must be installed with a seat belt. The LaCrosse's anchors sit really close to the seat cushions. Once you push the cushions out of the way, the Latch anchors are easy to use. Three tether anchors are on the rear shelf behind the head restraints. They're easy to use and sit under flip-up plastic covers.
Booster seat: Seat bolstering helps keep the high-back booster seat in a good position in the LaCrosse. The seat belt buckles are recessed in the bottom seat cushions, making it difficult for kids to buckle up independently.
Convertible seat: To fit the forward-facing convertible in the backseat, we had to remove the head restraint. Once we did, this car seat fit well. The rear-facing convertible also fit well, with no need to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate it.
Infant-safety seat: This rear-facing car seat also fit well in the LaCrosse's spacious backseat.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, but three almost fit.
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