2014 Mazda6: Car Seat Check

Mazda's midsize sedan was redesigned for 2014 with more dramatic exterior styling and two new four-cylinder engines, including the car's first turbo diesel. Installing child-safety seats in the Mazda6 was relatively drama-free, however.

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 2014 Mazda6 did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:

Latch system:
There are two sets of Latch anchors in the outboard seats. They sit about a quarter-inch into the seat bight. Although they're not buried too deeply, stiff seat cushions mean it’ll take a bit of muscle to connect to the anchors.

Booster seat:
The high-back booster fit well on the lightly contoured bench seat. We had to remove the head restraint, however; it pushed the booster forward. The buckles are on recessed bases, so kids could need help reaching them.

Convertible seat:
To fit the rear-facing convertible, we had to move the front passenger seat forward quite a bit. Our tester's knees were grazing the glove box.

In the forward position, there was plenty of room for the convertible, though the tough seat cushions again made Latch connection a bit tough. There are three tether anchors on the rear shelf; they're under hinged plastic covers and easy to use.

Infant-safety seat:
This seat uses thinner, hooklike connectors that were easier to use with the Latch anchors. We again had to move the front-passenger seat forward to accommodate this rear-facing child seat, but in this case, the passenger had enough legroom.

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.

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