As soon as my mom friends find out what I do at work — Expert Mom for Cars.com as well as an expert reviewer and certified child-safety seat technician — they pick my brain about family cars, car seats and fitting everyone comfortably and safely in the car. Because families are always growing, this topic comes up a lot.
Often, seemingly little things like additional lower Latch and top tether anchors can make or break a car in terms of its family-friendliness.
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By law, automakers have to put two sets of lower Latch anchors and three top tether anchors in a car's second row, but no such rules apply to the third row. The lack of a third-row tether anchor makes a vehicle less versatile when it comes to older kids in car seats: Using a top tether anchor with a forward-facing convertible seat reduces head and neck movement in a crash, reducing the risk of injury.
Many automakers skimp on this safety feature, but some all-stars offer more than one tether in the third row and even go the extra mile by offering third-row lower Latch anchors too. Check out our list of the three-row SUVs, crossovers and minivans that have one or more tether anchors in the third row; we also point out those that offer Latch anchors back there. This list doesn't include vehicles with optional third rows. Click here for the same list of 2013 models.
Cars.com photos by Evan Sears