Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in March 2019 about the 2019 Toyota RAV4. 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: What a difference a year and, well, a significant redesign make — at least when it comes to Cars.com’s Car Seat Check. The Toyota RAV4, a perennial favorite in the compact SUV class, has a new look for 2019 — inside and out. What’s even better to this certified car seat technician is that the latest RAV4 also has a redesigned Latch system that makes accessing it so much easier, resulting in top marks across all categories and a marked improvement over the 2018 model.
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 2020 Toyota RAV4.
Related: Search Car Seat Checks
- Latch: The Toyota RAV4 has two sets of exposed lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats, making them easy to find and use. The RAV4 has three tether anchors found midway down the rear seatbacks. They’re labeled to make it easier for parents to locate them, but in our test car, the anchors sat under the seat upholstery; we simply pushed the upholstery out of the way to use the anchors.
- Infant: Our rear-facing infant seat fit easily into the RAV4’s backseat and we didn’t need to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate it. Front passengers who are taller than 5-foot-7 or so may need to give up a little legroom to fit an infant seat behind them.
- Rear-facing convertible: The rear-facing convertible’s installation was a breeze. We moved the front passenger seat forward about a half-inch to accommodate the car seat, but the tester’s front legroom wasn’t affected.
- Forward-facing convertible: In forward-facing mode, the convertible car seat also installed easily. We had no problems connecting the car seat’s tether strap to the tether anchor on the rear seatback.
- Booster: Thanks to seat belt buckles on stable bases, we didn’t have any issues installing our high-back booster seat.
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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