By Jennifer Newman on October 17, 2012
It's been seven years since the Chevy Impala underwent its last redesign. It's long overdue for one, but the Impala and its fans won't have to wait much longer: The redesigned 2014 Impala is due to hit dealerships in early 2013. Until then, we have the 2013 Impala, a full-size sedan that can seat five or six passengers. Our test car could seat five and fit three child-safety seats across its large backseat.
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 convertible seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat 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 2013 Impala did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: Like many GM cars, the Impala has five Latch anchors with two sets in the outboard seats and a single anchor in the middle seating position, allowing a child-safety seat to be installed in the center seat. Though the anchors are slightly buried between the seat cushions, they were easy to use because it wasn't hard to push the cushions out of the way. It was a little more difficult to use the middle Latch anchor, however, because it was crowded by the middle and outboard positions' seat belt buckles. Three tether anchors sit on the Impala's rear shelf. The anchors are under plastic covers and easy to use.
Booster seat: The Impala's outboard seats have large fixed head restraints that could be problematic for some booster seats. It didn't push our high-back booster's back too far forward, however. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases, making it easy for younger kids to buckle up by themselves.
Convertible seat: The forward-facing safety seat fit easily in the Impala — even with the fixed head restraint pushing the car seat forward slightly. The convertible's rigid Latch connectors easily grabbed onto the Impala's anchors.
To fit the rear-facing convertible, we had to move the front passenger seat forward. The front passenger had just enough legroom to sit comfortably.
Infant-safety seat: We also had to move the front passenger seat forward a lot to accommodate this rear-facing car seat. The front passenger wasn't comfortable with the seat moved so far forward.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Three
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