2015 Toyota 4Runner: Car Seat Check

15Toyota_4Runner_CSC_AC_Lead.jpg 2015 Toyota 4Runner | photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — With its new-for-2015 off-road TRD Pro trim, the Toyota 4Runner is able to handle some pretty rough roads. When it comes to child-safety seats, it can easily fit three of them across its roomy backseat, but this five-seat SUV (a third row is optional and increases capacity to seven) gets docked for its difficult-to-access Latch system in our Car Seat Check. We tested the 2015 4Runner TRD Pro with leather seats.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three

What We Like

  • Three tether anchors are midway down the seatbacks under hinged plastic covers. We didn’t have any problems using them.
  • The rear-facing infant seat fit well. There was no need to move the front passenger seat forward.
  • The rear-facing convertible also fit well, though we had difficulties using this rigid seat’s Latch connectors with the Latch system.
  • For the forward-facing convertible to fit, we had to remove the head restraint. The car seat fit in the 4Runner, but the Latch system created lots of frustration with this seat too.
  • Our high-back booster seat fit well on the 4Runner’s flat rear bench. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases. While they don’t stick out too far, we still found them easy to use.

What We Don’t

  • The 4Runner has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. The anchors sit behind small slits in the leather and were difficult to access with our convertible seat’s rigid Latch connectors. Our tester had to pull hard on the slit to open it wide enough to fit the rigid connectors into the openings. We had better luck using the narrow, hooklike connectors from our infant seat with the 4Runner’s Latch anchors.

Grading Scale

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’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.

Photo of Jennifer Newman
Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Newman is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including 15 years as an automotive journalist at Jennifer leads the Editorial team in its mission of helping car shoppers find the vehicle that best fits their life. A mom of two, she’s graduated from kids in car seats to teens behind the steering wheel. She’s also a certified car-seat technician with more than 12 years of experience, as well as member of the World Car Jury, Automotive Press Association and Midwest Automotive Media Association. LinkedIn: Instagram: @jennilnewman Email Jennifer Newman

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