Consider this Cars.com’s version of that somewhat annoying bumper sticker that brags about having an honor roll student. It’s not easy to make our Honor Roll — only eight cars made the cut this year out of 85 tested.
Related: More Car Seat Checks
Our annual Car Seat Check Honor Roll recognizes cars that earned all A’s in our child-safety-seat inspections published between September 2017 and August 2018. To get a spot on our Honor Roll, a vehicle must earn all A’s in our Car Seat Check categories that test fit for the infant, rear- and forward-facing convertible, and booster seats. We also test how easy or difficult it is to use the car’s Latch system. Read more about the process.
Child Passenger Safety Weeks begins on Sept. 23. The week raises awareness around the importance of keeping kids safe in the car, a topic we’re passionate about at Cars.com. We have three certified child passenger safety technicians who install car seats into new cars for our Car Seat Check series.
Find out which cars made the 2018 Honor Roll below.
The 2018 Genesis G90’s backseat could be called cavernous, and thanks to all that room, the luxury sedan easily accommodated our car seats. The Genesis G90’s seats are wrapped in leather, but that didn’t prevent us from easily accessing the lower Latch anchors, which sit about a quarter-inch into the seat bight, where the back and bottom seat cushions meet.
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata may look a little tougher thanks to its refreshed looks, but it’ll treat your precious cargo — and their car seats — with kid gloves. The 2018 Sonata has a roomy backseat that easily handled all the car seats we installed.
This two-row SUV, which straddles the compact and mid-size classes, is a good fit for families with its roomy backseat boasting 40.3 inches of rear legroom. All that legroom explains why it made easy work of our rear-facing infant and convertible car seats. For 2019, the Cherokee gained new front-end styling, an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and slightly more cargo volume than previous Cherokees.
Redesigned for 2019, Lexus injected a lot of style into this nearly full-size sedan. The 2019 Lexus ES 350 earned all A’s in our test, including for the booster-seat fit – an area where it had previously earned a C in the 2017 ES 350 due to difficult-to-grasp seat belt buckles and intrusive seat bolsters. In the 2019, the rear seat belt buckles are on a stable base, making it easier for younger kids to buckle up independently.
Talk about spoiled: The 2018 Lincoln Continental lays on the luxury with its optional reclining, heated, cooled and massaging rear seats. Of course, those features are lost on the car-seat set, but just imagine how much they’ll enjoy it once they’ve finally outgrown their booster seat (when they’re 4 feet, 9 inches tall — and not an inch earlier). Car seats fit like a dream on the Continental’s relatively flat rear seats.
Don’t let the size of the Impreza fool you into thinking it can’t do family duty. Yes, it’s a compact car, but that backseat has room to spare thanks to its 36.5 inches of rear legroom. In our test, we were able to position the front passenger seat at a comfortable position for our 5-foot-6-inch-tall tester and install a rear-facing infant seat behind it without having to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate it.
The 2018 Toyota Camry’s redesign addressed many of its previous incarnation’s issues, but the ones we’re most excited about involve car seats. In the 2017 Camry, the lower Latch anchors were buried deep between the seat cushions, but for 2018, the Toyota Camry now has easy-access lower Latch anchors that sit below removable plastic covers. It made a big difference in our car-seat installations and raised the Camry’s grade significantly for 2018.
Looking for an SUV that can handle going off-road and three car seats? The Toyota 4Runner says bring it all on. It has standard seating for five, which is the version we tested, but an optional third row increases seating to seven. The second-row bench seat easily handles three car seats, and we had no issues finding the top tether anchors, which are clearly marked.
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