2013 GMC Acadia: Car Seat Check

For 2013, GMC's people-mover got a face-lift with updated exterior styling and a freshened interior. We recently tested its corporate cousin, the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, and found it roomy enough for a couple child-safety seats, but pesky Latch anchors complicated installation. Did we have the same problem with one of GM's other three-row crossover, the GMC Acadia?

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 2013 GMC Acadia did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:

Latch system:
There are two Latch anchors for each of the second-row captain's chairs. They're buried about a half-inch into the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet, and are set high into the cushion, complicating access. Each seat also has a tether anchor midway down the seatback. In the third row, there's one tether anchor in the middle of the seatback, but there are no Latch anchors for the third row's three-passenger bench seat.

Booster seat:
In the second row, there was plenty of room for the booster, thanks to a wide, lightly bolstered seat. The bolsters help hold the booster in place. The buckles are on rigid bases and stick up, making them easy for little hands to grasp. In the third row, the seat cushion is again flat for the booster, but legroom is an issue. Unless the second-row seat is slid forward to share some legroom with the third row, the kid in the booster will be kicking the captain's chair's seatback.

Convertible seat:
In forward-facing mode, the second row's fixed head restraint pushed the car seat forward, but there was still enough room for it on the cushion. We had to go over the head restraint with the tether strap to connect to the tether anchor. Rear facing, the seat had plenty of room but the inboard Latch anchor was crowded by the car seat base and the seat belt, so connecting was a struggle. Note that the second-row seats slide and were slid all the way back for this test.

In the third row, the forward-facing convertible was easy to install using the seat belt. As with the booster, legroom is an issue unless the second-row seat is moved up.

Infant-safety seat:
The placement of the Latch anchors made it difficult to install this seat with its traditional hook-like connectors. Once installed, however, the seat had plenty of room, and there was no need to move the front-passenger seat forward to accommodate it. Again, the seat was slid as far back as possible.

Third-row access:
Because of the second-row's two-chair setup, it's easy to walk between the chairs to get to the third row. The captain's chairs also slide forward and their seat bottom cushion collapses forward, so if you don't want to walk through, you can fold the chair to get to the third row. Note that there's no middle-seat head restraint in the third-row, which isn't safe in a crash.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, one on each captain's chair

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.

Research the 2013 GMC Acadia
2013 Chevrolet Traverse: Car Seat Check
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