By Jennifer Newman on May 9, 2012
With its V-8 engine, the 2012 Infiniti QX56 has plenty of power to haul a larger family in style. The QX, which was redesigned last year, can seat up to eight passengers in its three rows of seats, but our test car had seating for seven, with captain's chairs in the second row and a three-seat bench in the third.
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 smaller 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 QX56 did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: In this large SUV, there are only two sets of lower Latch anchors, which are found in the second row's captain's chairs. The anchors aren't visible because they sit in large slits in the seat upholstery. The Latch anchors are easy to use because they aren't buried too deeply in these slits.
There are three tether anchors, with two found at the bases of the captain's chairs. They're easy to use, but it's a stretch to reach them. The third row's tether anchor (photo above) is on the back lip of the cargo area, which cuts into the usable cargo space.
Booster seat: The high-back booster seat fit well in the captain's chair, which is good because the chair's seatback doesn't recline. The buckles in the second row are recessed so far down into the bottom seat cushions that they're almost flush with it. The booster fit well in the third row (photo above), and the buckle is on a really long nylon strap.
Convertible seat: In the second row, the forward and rear-facing convertibles fit well — even with the captain's chair's ample bolstering. In the third row, we installed the forward-facing convertible using a seat belt. The car seat fit well.
Infant-safety seat: The rear-facing infant seat fit easily in the second row.
Third-row access: Our test car had the optional power-folding second-row seats. The seats flip forward with a push of a button, creating a pathway to the third row. This system worked well, but for parents with kids in child-safety seats, it could be a problem because you'd need to remove the car seat before folding the captain's chairs.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
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