How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2018 Lexus IS 350?

2018 Lexus IS 350; Cars.com photos by Angela Conners

Editor's note: This Car Seat Check was written in May 2017 about the 2017 Lexus IS 350. 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 2017 Lexus IS 350 F Sport luxury performance sedan gets some exterior styling updates to the headlights, air intakes, spindle grille, taillights and exhaust, as well as a new 10.3-inch multimedia screen replacing the outgoing model's 7-inch display. The last time we checked the five-seat sedan — for the 2015 model year — we encountered a bit of trouble with legroom when installing our rear-facing convertible seat, and lots of trouble with legroom with our infant safety seat. This IS 350 fared better.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

Related: More Car Seat Checks

Solid

  • Latch, grade A: Two sets of lower anchors sit under a Velcro flap in the leather upholstery and are easy to access and use. Three top tether anchors sit on the rear shelf under hinged plastic covers and were easy to access and use.  
  • Rear-facing convertible, grade A: The connection was easy, and we were able to move the front passenger seat back quite a bit, improving legroom significantly.
  • Forward-facing convertible, grade A: This was an easy installation, and the seat fit well once we removed the head restraint.
  • Booster, grade A: We removed the head restraint to get a good fit — a bit tricky because of the aggressive seat bolstering. The seat belts are on stable bases, making it easier for kids to buckle up independently.

So-So

  • Infant seat, grade B: Installation was easy, though we had to move the front passenger seat all the way up. Still, our 5-foot-6-inch tester sat in relative comfort — if barely.

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 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. 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.

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

 
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