How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2021 BMW 5 Series?

bmw-5-series-2021-13.jpg 2021 BMW 540i | Manufacturer image

The verdict: With its refreshed looks and tech, the 2021 BMW 5 Series remains a capable family hauler, though it stumbled slightly with one of our car seats. We tested the mid-level BMW 540i xDrive. 

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 2021 BMW 5 Series.

Related: Search Car Seat Checks

bmw-5-series-2021-csc-scorecard graphic

A Grade

  • Latch: The 5 Series has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats and three top tether anchors on the rear shelf behind the head restraints. The anchors are under flip-up plastic covers that are well marked.
  • Infant: This rear-facing car seat fit well in the sedan’s backseat. Installation was easy and there was no need to move the seat forward for our 5-foot-8-inch front passenger. 
  • Rear-facing convertible: We moved the front passenger seat forward about an inch to fit this rear-facing car seat behind it, but our passenger still had plenty of legroom. The car seat’s installation was problem-free.
  • Forward-facing convertible: Installing the forward convertible was straightforward. When connecting the top tether strap to the anchor, we followed the sedan’s owner’s manual and routed the strap between the head restraint’s poles. 

B Grade

  • None

C Grade

  • Booster seat: The 540i’s rear seats have sizable bolsters that impacted  how our high-back booster fit on the seat. The bolsters pushed the booster’s base against the seat buckle. The buckle also sits low in the bottom seat cushion, which could make it difficult for little ones to buckle independently. 

Grading Scale

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 the third row when available.

C: Marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. Difficult to access the 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 and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Chicco KeyFit 30 infant-safety seat, a Graco Contender 65 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

Latest expert reviews