Last winter, I drove a 2013 Kia Sorento on vacation; we packed the three-row crossover full of gear and passengers, including two toddlers and their child-safety seats. The plan was to put the kids in the third row, freeing up the roomier second row for the adults. It fell apart, however, once I discovered that the third row lacked tether anchors — installing forward-facing convertible car seats there is a safety no-no.
Using a top tether anchor with a forward-facing convertible reduces head and neck movement in a crash, decreasing the risk of injury. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, however, more than half of parents who participated in their joint 2012 car seat study failed to connect the seat’s top tether.
By law, automakers have to put two sets of lower Latch anchors and three top tether anchors in the second row, but no such rules apply to the third row. The lack of a third-row tether anchor makes a vehicle much less versatile, and it's not just a Kia problem. Many automakers skimp on this simple safety feature, but some all-stars offer more than one in the third row.
Check out our lists of the three-row SUVs, crossovers and minivans that have one or more tether anchors in the third row. This list doesn't include vehicles with optional third rows.
Three Tether Anchors
Two Tether Anchors
- 2013 Acura MDX: The new-for-2014 model has two anchors as well.
- 2013 Audi Q7: Two sets of Latch anchors
- 2013 Dodge Durango
- 2013 Land Rover LR4
- 2013 Mazda5
- 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class: Two sets of Latch anchors
- 2013 Nissan Quest: One set of Latch anchors
- 2013 Subaru Tribeca
One Tether Anchor
- 2013 Buick Enclave
- 2013 Cadillac Escalade
- 2013 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2013 Chevrolet Traverse
- 2013 Chrysler Town & Country: One set of Latch anchors
- 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan: One set of Latch anchors
- 2013 Ford Expedition
- 2013 Ford Explorer: One set of Latch anchors
- 2013 Ford Flex: One set of Latch anchors
- 2013 GMC Acadia
- 2013 GMC Yukon
- 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
- 2013 Infiniti JX35
- 2013 Infiniti QX56
- 2013 Lincoln MKT: One set of Latch anchors
- 2013 Lincoln Navigator
- 2013 Nissan Pathfinder
- 2013 Toyota Sequoia
- 2013 Toyota Sienna: One set of Latch anchors