Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in July 2019 about the 2019 Mazda3 sedan. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. See what’s new for 2020 or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.
The verdict: Most compact cars are a sensible, point-A-to-point-B mode of transport, but the Mazda3 has always offered a little more than that with more agile handling than most of the class. A redesign for 2019 only adds to its appeal, and although it’s a compact, we had no trouble fitting two car seats in its backseat.
Does it fit three car seats? No
Take a look at how the Latch system and each car seat scored below in our Car Seat Check of the 2019 Mazda3 sedan.
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- Latch: The two sets of lower anchors sit under removable plastic covers. Three top tether anchors sit on the rear shelf. All anchors are easy to access and use.
- Infant: The install was easy thanks to accessible lower anchors, and our 5-foot, 6-inch-tall front passenger had a comfortable amount of legroom.
- Rear-facing convertible: Again, this car seat went in easily and the front passenger had enough legroom.
- Forward-facing convertible: After removing the head restraint so the convertible would sit flush with the seatback, it fit well. We had no trouble connecting to the lower Latch or upper tether anchors.
- Booster: We again raised the head restraint to situate the booster flush against the seatback. The booster fit well but kids will likely have trouble finding and grasping the sedan’s tiny, recessed buckles.
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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