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How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge?

volvo-xc40-recharge-2021-01-angle--black--exterior--front--white.jpg 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Manufacturer image

The verdict: Volvo’s first all-electric vehicle is fast and efficient, but the XC40 Recharge’s backseat doesn’t impress. Issues with the compact SUV’s lower Latch anchors and fixed head restraints complicated car seat installation 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 Volvo XC40 Recharge.

Related: Search Car Seat Checks

volvo-xc40-recharge-2021-csc-scorecard Cars.com graphic

A Grade

  • None

B Grade

  • Latch: The two sets of lower anchors sit under plastic flaps. They should be easy to use, but each anchor sits deep within the hole exposed by the flap. The anchors are also pressed up against the upholstery, complicating access — especially with our infant seat’s chunky connectors. Connecting to the anchors is a struggle, and you really need to shove the connector deep and hard to attach. Three top tether anchors sit on the seatback. The outboard ones are midway down and clearly marked, but the middle anchor sits at the base of the seatback and isn’t clearly marked.
volvo-xc40-rechrage-2021-02-backseat-car-seat-check-interior 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

C Grade

  • Infant seat: Connecting to the lower anchors required a bit of muscle because Volvo leaves minimal room to maneuver our car seat’s chunky connectors in the deep Latch holes, and the anchors themselves are mashed against the seating upholstery. Front-passenger legroom was merely OK for our 5-foot 6-inch front passenger. With the seat installed behind, there was only a small amount of space between her knees and the glove box.
  • Rear-facing convertible: This car seat uses skinny, hooklike connectors, so it was a bit easier to access the lower anchors, though it still required some muscle. We had the same front-passenger legroom issues as with the infant seat.
  • Forward-facing convertible: Again, the XC40’s lower-anchor setup hampered installation. The SUV’s fixed head restraint didn’t interfere with our forward-facing convertible seat with its adjustable backrest set to the lowest height, but it will likely interfere if the back needs to be raised to accommodate a taller child. The fixed head restraint did complicate the top-tether connection, however. The vehicle owner’s manual says to defer to the car seat manual for how to route the strap for the top tether anchor. Our Graco owner’s manual shows it should go over the head restraint then connect to the anchor. This is problematic, as the XC40 Recharge owner’s manual also says to “Never route a top tether strap over the top of the head restraint. The strap should be routed beneath the head restraint.” Since the convertible strap’s tightening mechanism is too chunky to fit under the head restraint, we followed the car seat owner’s manual and routed it over the head restraint. The inconsistency among the manuals is frustrating.
  • Booster: The outboard head restraints aren’t removable (the middle one is). They fold down but otherwise aren’t adjustable, and they push the back of the booster off the seatback. It should be flush. There’s a sizable gap between the booster’s back and the seatback, so we downgraded this category two grades. The booster should be installed in the middle seat if possible, as that head restraint can be easily removed. The buckles are on short but stable stalks. They stick up just enough so kids should be able to use them 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 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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