The Toyota 4Runner sticks to its SUV roots with a mostly cosmetic redesign for model-year 2014. While its tall step-in height might make it a difficult sell to some families, the full-size SUV fits three car seats across its second row. The 4Runner seats five passengers in two rows. A third row is optional but wasn’t available in our test car.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Three
What We Like
- The 4Runner fits three child-safety seats across its second-row bench, but the outboard seats’ side bolsters caused the car seats to sit at a slight angle.
- The rear- and forward-facing convertible fit well in the 4Runner, but installation with Latch was difficult with this seat’s bulky, rigid connectors. We had to use a seat belt to install the car seat.
- To fit the rear-facing infant seat, we had to move the front passenger seat forward a little bit. However, we were able to use the car seat’s Latch connectors, which are slimmer hooks, to install the car seat.
What We Don’t
- The Latch anchors are supposed to be accessed through small openings in the 4Runner’s leather seats, but the anchors were set higher than the openings. We had to tug at the leather openings to align it with the anchors before attempting to push the Latch connectors through it. We managed to install the infant seat using the Latch anchors, but the small Latch anchor openings and the convertible’s bulky connectors didn’t work well together, so we used the seat belt to install that car seat.
- The booster seat fit well in the 4Runner, but we had problems with the seat belt buckle, which is set close to the seat bight and deep into the bottom seat cushion.
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 Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon 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