CARS.COM — Compact SUV sales are up and Toyota’s popular RAV4 is riding the wave with climbing sales. For 2016, Toyota adds an electric version of the RAV4 to its lineup and the gas version gets revised exterior styling and a lightly updated interior. For this Car Seat Check, we tested a gas-powered SE model with leather seats. Easy Latch anchors and enough legroom earned it straight A’s in our test.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
What We Like
- The two sets of lower Latch anchors sit nearly 2 inches into the seat bight (where the back and bottom meet), but they are relatively easy to access because the seat cushions don’t crowd the anchors. There are three top tethers anchors midway down the seatbacks that are clearly marked with an icon. Parents should note that the anchors themselves are under the seatback upholstery, however.
- We did not have to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate the infant seat or the rear-facing convertible seat. Both also installed easily.
- After removing the head restraint, the forward facing convertible went in easily and fit well.
- The booster fit well; the seat belt buckles are on stable bases that sit up just high enough to be easy for kids to use.
What We Don’t
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 Cars.com’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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