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How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2018 GMC Acadia?

Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in August 2016 about the 2017 GMC Acadia. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2018, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

The redesigned 2017 GMC Acadia is 7.2 inches shorter than its predecessor, so we were surprised when this SUV easily handled child-safety seats in all three of its rows. The Acadia makes the most of its smaller size with second and third rows that don’t skimp on legroom. Though it can also be had with just two rows of seats, we tested a three-row Acadia Denali with second-row captain’s chairs. It’s also available in two rows.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

Related: More Car Seat Checks


  • Latch, grade A: The two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row are almost exposed, making them quick to find and use. The third row doesn’t have any Latch anchors, but it does have a tether for each seating position. Both the third-row and second-row tether anchors are easy to use.
  • Infant, grade A: This rear-facing car seat fit well in the second row. There was no need to move the front seat forward; our 5-foot-6-inch front passenger had ample room.
  • Rear-facing convertible, grade A: Again, this seat went in easily and fit well.
  • Forward-facing convertible, grade A: The wide captain’s chairs easily fit our forward-facing convertible.
  • Booster, grade A: Our booster also fit well on the seat. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases that sit up high enough for kids to grasp.
  • Third-row access, grade A: The Acadia earned high marks for its third-row access. On the passenger side, the captain’s chair collapses and slides forward far enough to create a wide pathway to the third row. Kids can also easily scoot between the captain’s chairs.  
  • Third row booster, grade A: The booster seat also fit well in the third row and the seat belt buckles are on stable bases, making them easy for kids in boosters to use independently.
  • Third row forward-facing convertible, grade A: Because there are no lower Latch anchors in the third row, we used the seat belt to install our forward-facing convertible, which went in without a hitch. GM notes in its Acadia owner’s manual that our Britax Marathon’s dual tether straps should be routed around the outside of the head restraint.


  • None

Skip It

  • None

Grading Scale

Solid indicates an A grade for optimum ease of use and fit. So-So indicates B or C grades for one to two ease-of-use or fit issues. Skip It indicates D or F grades.

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: One room, fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room, plus multiple 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. Learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks.

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.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Jennifer Newman
Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Newman is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including 15 years as an automotive journalist at Jennifer leads the Editorial team in its mission of helping car shoppers find the vehicle that best fits their life. A mom of two, she’s graduated from kids in car seats to teens behind the steering wheel. She’s also a certified car-seat technician with more than 12 years of experience, as well as member of the World Car Jury, Automotive Press Association and Midwest Automotive Media Association. LinkedIn: Instagram: @jennilnewman Email Jennifer Newman

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