Space is at a premium in the 2014 Buick Encore, a compact crossover, but surprisingly, its smaller dimensions didn't negatively affect child-safety-seat installation. While we did have to move the front passenger seat forward to fit our rear-facing car seats behind it, our tester still had enough legroom to sit comfortably. That's in part due to the Encore's dash design, which is upright rather than jutting out into the cabin.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
What We Like
- The Encore has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats that were easy to use with both our rigid and hooklike connectors. The three tether anchors, which are found on the seatbacks, are also a snap to use.
- Our 5-foot-8-inch tester was able to fit comfortably in the front passenger seat even with it moved significantly forward to fit the infant-safety seat behind it. We didn't have to move the front seat forward quite as much with the rear-facing convertible. Taller passengers should check to see that they'll fit in the front seat if a rear-facing car seat will be installed behind them.
- The forward-facing convertible and booster seat also installed easily after we removed the bulky head restraint, which pushed both seats forward.
What We Don't
- Floppy seat belt buckles. The Encore has them, and we've found in real-life testing that they can be difficult for younger kids to use independently.
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.
C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.
D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted 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 and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible 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; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.
Cars.com photos by Evan Sears