How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2021 Mazda CX-5?

2021 Mazda CX-5

The verdict: Mazda added some more standard safety features to its CX-5 compact SUV for 2020, and even more are available for 2021. The backseat is unchanged for 2021, and although its lower Latch anchors are easy to find and use, we had some issues with rear legroom in our Car Seat Check. 

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 Mazda CX-5.

Related: Search Car Seat Checks

A Grade

  • Latch: The two sets of lower anchors reside in slits in the seat upholstery. Connection was easy: The three top tether anchors sit on the seatback, about a third of the way down. They’re clearly marked and easy to use.  
  • Forward-facing convertible: There was no need to raise the head restraint to accommodate our convertible in its forward-facing mode. Our convertible has a height-adjustable back, and we installed it in the lowest setting. Raising it to accommodate a taller child might mean the head restraint needs to be raised or removed. Connection to the lower anchors and the top tether anchor was easy. 
2021 Mazda CX-5

B Grade

  • Booster: After raising the head restraint, the booster fit well. The CX-5’s stubby buckle stalks could make it tough for kids to buckle up independently, however.  

C Grade

  • Rear-facing convertible: Connecting to the lower anchors was easy, but our 5-foot-6-inch front passenger was uncomfortable with the seat installed behind; her knees touched the glove box. 
  • Infant seat: Latch connection was again easy, but we had similar legroom issues with this car seat. The front passenger was able to move the seat back a little from the super-cramped position needed to accommodate the rear-facing convertible seat behind her. It wasn’t enough to be comfortable, however. 

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 Cars.com’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.

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