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How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz?

hyundai-santa-cruz-2022-02-blue-exterior-profile 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Cars.com photo by Mike Hanley

The verdict: Hyundai’s new compact pickup truck, the 2022 Santa Cruz, is especially compact when it comes to the backseat. There was not enough legroom to comfortably accommodate our rear-facing infant seat, and we had some installation issues with a couple of other types of car seats, as well.

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 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Related: Search Car Seat Checks

hyundai-santa-cruz-2022-csc-scorecard Cars.com graphic |

A Grade

  • Booster: We raised the head restraint to situate the booster seat flush against the seatback, as it should be for safety’s sake. The backseat’s buckles sit on stable arms, making them easier for kids to grasp independently.

B Grade

  • Latch: The two sets of lower anchors are partially exposed — enough to make connection easy. But because the anchors are flush with the seat bottoms, removing the car seat required extra muscle, especially with our convertible seat’s skinny connectors. It took some added maneuvering and twisting to unhook the connectors from the anchors. The three top tether anchors sit behind the head restraints under flip-up covers; they’re body-colored for good visibility.
hyundai-santa-cruz-2022-01-backseat-car-seat-check-interior 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

C Grade

  • Forward-facing convertible: Installation was merely OK using Latch, but removing the car seat was a challenge. We raised the head restraint to gain access to the top tether anchor. Per the owner’s manual, we routed the tether strap under the restraint to connect to the anchor. The process is straightforward, which is unusual for a pickup truck, but the anchor and car seat are so close together that it’s tough to get the strap tight.
  • Rear-facing convertible: We had to move the front passenger seat as far forward as it would go to make room for this car seat behind it. As such, the 5-foot-6-inch front passenger did not have enough legroom to be comfortable.

D Grade

  • Infant: Our seat went in and came out easier because of its chunky Latch connectors versus with our convertible’s skinnier ones. However, we had to move the front passenger seat as far forward as it would go and adjust the seatback angle to a more upright position to accommodate the infant seat behind. Our 5-foot-6 front passenger was very uncomfortable in this position.

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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