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What's the Best Minivan for Car Seats?

17_Toyota_Sienna_CSC_SHOOTOUT.jpeg 2017 Toyota Sienna | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — Of all the many, many things parents cart around in our cars, none are more important than our kids and their car seats. For many families — especially larger ones — only a minivan will do, which is great, because they excel as a class when it comes to carrying passengers and cargo.

Even with the popularity of SUVs, vans are still a beloved option among parents. Spacious second-row and third-row seats are ideal for a child’s car seat as well as transporting many passengers, and there is still plenty of room for cargo. But with a variety of choices available, which of the many minivan models on the market is right for you and your child? 

To make it easier for drivers when shopping for a new vehicle, we have compared several popular minivans to make your search hassle-free. Which model shines when it comes to properly securing car seats? Explore our Ultimate Minivan Challenge results below. 

Ultimate Minivan Challenge 2016

Results | Child-Safety Seats | What You Get in the Ultimate Minivan

Their ample legroom and having more lower Latch and top tether anchors than three-row SUVs make minivans car-seat all-stars. Of course, some minivans are better than others. We put the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, 2016 Kia Sedona and 2017 Toyota Sienna to the test to find out which vehicle handles these seats the best.

The Winner: 2016 Kia Sedona

15-16Kia_Sedona_ES_CSC_Lead_ES.jpg 2016 Kia Sedona | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

For this year, the Sedona’s exposed lower Latch anchors made it very easy to install car seats and helped earn the family vehicle the top spot on our list. We gave this model an “A” for easy third-row access, as well. The safe Sedona also earned top marks for handling infant seats. One area where this vehicle did not score as highly as its peers is in regards to booster seats in the third row. Click here for the Car Seat Check.

First Runner-Up: 2017 Toyota Sienna

Lead.jpg 2016 Toyota Prius | Cars.com photos by Angela Conners

Oodles of room for passengers and accessible Latch anchors scored the 2017 Sienna big points this year, but the vehicle lost points for difficult-to-access top tether anchors, landing it second among the vans tested. This minivan gained high marks for infant seats as well as rear-facing seats. Click here for the Car Seat Check.

The Loser: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Lead.jpg 2016 Toyota Prius | Cars.com photos by Angela Conners

Although the Pacifica wowed us with loads of new family-friendly features that drivers and passengers are sure to love, this van fell flat when it came to car seats because of its second-row Latch anchors that were less accessible than the other vans’ anchors. This minivan earned a rating of “B” for forward-facing convertible seats in both the second row and third row; however, the vehicle did impress with access to the third-row seats. Click here for the full Car Seat Check.

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