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Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 04/26/2012

2013 Toyota Land Cruiser: Car Seat Check


(Cars.com)

There's nothing small about the 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser . From its size — it can carry eight passengers — to its starting price of $77,955, this is a ginormous three-row SUV. The Land Cruiser does have two small numbers attached to it: 13/18 mpg city/highway. With a 5.7-liter V-8 engine, those fuel-economy numbers probably aren't too much of a shock, though.

Here's another number: three. Three child-safety seats fit across the Land Cruiser's second row, making it one of a handful of cars that can handle this feat.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and a Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Here's how the 2013 Land Cruiser did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:


(Cars.com)

Latch system: This three-row SUV has just two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row's outboard seats. They sit under leather flaps that can be lifted to reveal easy-to-use Latch anchors. One knock against the anchors is they seemed to be set too close together, forcing our installer to scoot the car seats around a lot to get at the anchors.

The second row has three tether anchors. The outboard seats' tether anchors are midway down the seatbacks, and the middle seat's tether anchor is nearly at the bottom of the setback. In the third row, two tether anchors are located in the cargo area's floor under the floormat.


(Cars.com)

Booster seat: In the second row, the booster seat fit well, thanks to a long bottom cushion. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases, making it a snap for younger kids to buckle up independently. The booster seat also fit well in the third row (photo below), though there wasn't enough room on the three-seat bench to fit three car seats. The seat belt buckle sinks into a well in the seat cushion when buckling up. My kids, ages 5 and 9, find this frustrating in cars I test-drive.


(Cars.com)


(Cars.com)

Convertible seat: Both the forward- and rear-facing convertible fit well in the second row, with no need to move the front passenger seat forward to create more space. The forward-facing convertible also fit well in the third row. We installed the car seat using a seat belt.


(Cars.com)

Infant-safety seat: To fit this rear-facing car seat in the second row, we had to move the front passenger seat forward an inch or so. The front passenger still had plenty of legroom.


(Cars.com)

Third-row access: To get to the third row, the second-row seats tumble forward to create a walkway.


(Cars.com)

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.

By Cars.com  |  02:14 PM ET, 04/26/2012

 
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