What a difference a year and, well, a significant redesign make — at least when it comes to Cars.com’s Car Seat Check. The Toyota RAV4, a perennial favorite in the compact SUV class, has a new look for 2019 — inside and out. What’s even better to this certified car seat technician is that the latest RAV4 also has a redesigned Latch system that makes accessing it so much easier, resulting in top marks across all categories and a marked improvement over the 2018 model.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
Related: More Car Seat Checks
- Latch, grade A: The Toyota RAV4 has two sets of exposed lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats, making them easy to find and use. The RAV4 has three tether anchors found midway down the rear seatbacks. They’re labeled to make it easier for parents to locate them, but in our test car, the anchors sat under the seat upholstery; we simply pushed the upholstery out of the way to use the anchors.
- Infant, grade A: Our rear-facing infant seat fit easily into the RAV4’s backseat, and we didn’t need to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate it. Front passengers who are taller than 5-foot-7 or so may need to give up a little legroom to fit an infant seat behind them.
- Rear-facing convertible, grade A: The rear-facing convertible’s installation was a breeze. We moved the front passenger seat forward about a half-inch to accommodate the car seat, but the tester’s front legroom wasn’t affected.
- Forward-facing convertible, grade A: In forward-facing mode, the convertible car seat also installed easily. We had no problems connecting the car seat’s tether strap to the tether anchor on the rear seatback.
- Booster, grade A: Thanks to seat belt buckles on stable bases, we didn’t have any issues installing our high-back booster seat.
More From Cars.com:
- 2020 Toyota RAV4, Sequoia Off-Road Versions Mount Chicago Debut
- 2019 Toyota RAV4 Review: Delivers More, Costs More
- Which 2019 Toyota RAV4 Trim Should I Buy: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, XSE or Limited?
- 2019 Toyota RAV4: 5 Things We Like (and 5 Not So Much)
- 2019 Toyota RAV4: The (RAV)411 on Pricing and Fuel Economy
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.