CARS.COM — There’s plenty to like about the redesigned 2016 Toyota Tacoma, including its impressive fuel economy numbers of 19/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined. However, we found quite a few things we didn’t like while installing child-safety seats into a Tacoma TRD Sport with a cloth interior and a double cab.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, but three nearly fit.
What We Like
- The Tacoma has two sets of lower Latch anchors that are easy to use.
- The forward-facing convertible fit well in the Tacoma, but we found it difficult to install because of the tether anchor’s location behind the rear seatbacks.
- The booster seat fit well in the Tacoma.
What We Don’t
- The Tacoma’s three tether anchors are behind the rear seatbacks, which makes them easy for parents to forget; they’re also difficult to use. You have to fold the seatback forward to access them, and once the tether hook is connected, it’s difficult to correctly tighten the tether strap because of the seat design. We found that holding the seatback in an upright position, but not locked into place, allowed us to tighten it.
- To fit the rear-facing infant seat, we had to move the front passenger seat all the way forward, making it difficult, if not impossible, for most adults to sit there. The car seat fit well in the backseat after we created enough space.
- We also had to move the front passenger seat forward a significant amount to fit the rear-facing convertible seat. This left our 5-foot-8 tester with her knees pushing into the glove box.
- The backseat’s seat belt buckles are floppy, making them difficult to grasp for little ones in booster seats.
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, 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.