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2016 BMW X5 eDrive: Car Seat Check

img1377396325 1455826434518 jpg 2016 BMW X5 eDrive | photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — BMW’s plug-in hybrid X5 eDrive SUV can operate in a fully electric mode with 14 miles of range before switching on the gas engine. It pairs a 245-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor for a combined 308 hp. Although it offers less cargo room than the traditional X5, the plug-in hybrid offers the same amount of rear legroom at 36.6 inches, which is plenty for two child-safety seats. For this Car Seat Check, we tested the 2016 X5 xDrive40e M Sport model.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

What We Like

  • The three tether anchors are midway down the seatbacks; they’re clearly labeled, making them easy for parents to find.  
  • The rear-facing convertible was easy to install and did not require moving up the front passenger seat. To access the Latch anchors, we were easily able to push past the X5’s stiff leather seat cushions with the convertible’s rigid Latch connectors.
  • The forward-facing convertible also installed easily and fit well on the flat seat-bottom cushion.

What We Don’t

  • We had a little trouble using the Latch system to install the infant car seat with its thick, hooklike connectors because the X5’s two sets of lower Latch anchors sit about an inch into the seat right behind stiff leather cushions. It took a lot of muscle to connect to the anchors.
  • We had to move up the front passenger seat to accommodate the rear-facing infant seat; taller passengers will need more room to be comfortable.
  • Although the booster fit well on the seat, the seat belt buckle sits low in the seat-bottom cushion, which could make it tough for younger kids to use independently.
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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-6 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 Geiger
News Editor Jennifer Geiger joined the automotive industry in 2003, much to the delight of her Corvette-obsessed dad. Jennifer is an expert reviewer, certified car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats — many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer Geiger

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