Larger families interested in a hybrid or electric vehicle don’t have a lot of choices. Tesla’s Model X is one option, but you’ll have to pony up quite a bit for it; it starts in the $80,000-range. The SUV has seating for up to seven in three rows and is a mixed bag when it comes to ease of car-seat installation in both rows. The second-row lower Latch anchors were easy to use, and although we appreciated the addition of third-row anchors — a nice bonus not often found in three-row vehicles — they caused some problems.
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
- Infant seat, grade A: This seat was easy to install, and our 5-foot-6-inch-tall front passenger had ample room.
- Rear-facing convertible, grade A: Another easy install. This seat and our front passenger also had plenty of room.
- Booster, grade A: In the second row, the fixed head restraint didn’t affect how the booster sat on the seat. Also, the Model X’s stable buckles will make it easier for kids to buckle up independently.
- Latch, grade B: In the second row, two sets of anchors sit just within the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet; connection was easy. There are three tether anchors, but they’re buried in carpet and you have to fish around for them to make connection.
- Forward-facing convertible, grade B: In the second row, the fixed head restraint didn’t interfere with how the car seat fit on the seat. It was easy to connect to the lower Latch anchors, but we had to dig in the seatback carpet to connect to the top tether anchor.
- Third-row access, grade C: The opening to the third row is small, and the step-in height is tall. What’s worse, the gullwing doors don’t open high enough, so banging your head is inevitable.
- Third-row Latch, grade C: The two sets of anchors in the third row are deep-set and the upholstery is stiff, complicating access. There are two top tether anchors clearly marked, but they’re also buried in the seatback’s carpet, making it a chore to connect.
- Third-row forward-facing car seat, grade C: The fixed head restraint didn’t push the car seat off the seatback, but the install wasn’t easy due to buried Latch and tether anchors.
- Third-row booster, grade B: Again, the fixed head restraint wasn’t an issue with fit, but the buckles are on arms that fold into the seat. Also, the buckle button is black instead of black and red, which decreases visibility. Both of these issues make it hard for kids to buckle up independently.
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.
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