2016 Ford Focus: Car Seat Check

16_Ford_Focus_AC_Lead.jpg 2016 Ford Focus | photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — With its good looks and new Sync 3 multimedia system, there’s a lot to like about the 2016 Ford Focus, but this compact car is not the best choice when it comes to car seats. Forward-facing car seats fit well in the Focus’ cramped backseat, but rear-facing seats need more space. The Focus is available as a sedan or hatchback; we tested a hatchback. Our Car Seat Check results can be applied to both body styles as they have the same interior dimensions.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

What We Like

  • The Focus has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard rear seats. The anchors sit just within the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet, and are easy to access and use. Three tether anchors sit midway down the rear seatbacks; they’re clearly marked and easy to use.
  • After we removed the head restraint, the forward-facing convertible installed easily.
  • We also removed the head restraint when installing our high-back booster seat. This allowed the booster to fit well on the seat. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases, making them easy for kids to use independently.

What We Don’t

  • To fit the rear-facing infant seat, we had to move the front passenger seat so far forward that our 5-foot-6 tester’s knees were pushed against the glove box. However, the infant seat installed easily thanks to the accessible Latch anchors.
  • While our tester had more legroom with the rear-facing convertible installed behind the front passenger seat, taller passengers are likely to need more space. This seat also installed easily.

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, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz 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 shorter 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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