By Jennifer Geiger on November 16, 2012
With its striking good looks, nimble handling and tech-centric CUE multimedia system, Cadillac's new ATS should appeal to gadget-savvy car shoppers looking for a just-right blend of luxury and performance. Will some of those shoppers be families? Sure. The ATS' backseat had enough room for two child-safety seats, but getting them in won't be easy—hidden Latch anchors complicate installation.
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.
Here's how the 2013 ATS did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: There are two sets of lower anchors in the outboard seats. They're hidden deep inside slits in the leather and are difficult to access—you have to part two layers of stiff leather to connect to them. There are three top tether anchors under plastic covers on the rear shelf; it was easy to connect to them.
Booster seat: The outboard sections of the backseat are very bolstered, pushing our booster toward the middle of the backseat and on top of the seat belt buckle. This caused the booster to sit at a slight angle. All the buckles in the backseat are floppy, so it might be hard for kids to buckle up independently. Note that the middle position lacks a head restraint, so if a booster is installed here, it must have a high back for head and neck protection in a crash.
Convertible seat: The backseat is concave and angles toward the seat bight, so it was difficult to situate the forward-facing seat at the correct angle. Raising the head restraint helped, but it's not removable.
We had to move the front passenger seat forward just a bit to accommodate the seat in the rear-facing position; there was still a comfortable amount of legroom. The car seat base sat on top of the anchors, however, which further complicated access.
Infant-safety seat: This seat was easier to install because of its traditional hook-like connectors. They're smaller than the convertible's rigid ones. We did have to move the front passenger seat up even more to accommodate this rear-facing car seat, however. The passenger had just enough legroom to be comfortable, but taller people will be cramped.
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 Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer