2016 Ford Escape: Car Seat Check

16Ford_Escape_CSC_AC_Lead.jpg 2016 Ford Escape | photos by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — Ford’s compact SUV is getting an update for 2017, but we tested the 2016 model for this Car Seat Check. Buried Latch anchors and not enough rear legroom made installing car seats into the Ford Escape’s backseat a bit of a challenge. For this Car Seat Check, we tested an SE model with leather seats with cloth inserts.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

What We Like

  • The two sets of Latch anchors are exposed, which makes them easy to find. The three tether anchors at the seatbacks’ base are also exposed and easy to connect to.
  • The convertible in both forward- and rear-facing mode installed easily once we maneuvered past the seat belt buckle to access the Latch anchors. We had to move the front passenger seat forward one notch to fit the rear-facing car seat behind it, but our 5-foot-8 tester still had enough legroom.

What We Don’t

  • Although the Latch anchors are exposed, they are crowded by seat belt buckles and can block access.
  • We had no trouble accessing the Latch anchor with the convertible seat’s narrow, hooklike connectors. However, we had to move the front passenger seat forward significantly. Our tester’s knees were too close to the glove box.
  • The high-back booster seat fit well because of its flat seat cushions, but the seat is narrow so we had to slide the booster over to access the buckle and then awkwardly slide it right against the buckle to install it. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases, however, making them easier for kids to use independently.

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.

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