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Posted at 07:04 AM ET, 07/25/2013

2014 Fiat 500L: Car Seat Check


(Cars.com)

Not only does Fiat's new compact crossover have loads of quirky style, it's also roomier than it looks. The 2014 500L is an enlarged version of the automaker's tiny 500, and those extra inches really matter. The new L easily seats five passengers, and exposed Latch anchors make it car-seat-friendly.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

What We Like

The backseat slides forward and back for more legroom.

The outboard seats' two sets of anchors are exposed and easy to use. The three tether anchors at the base of the seatbacks are easy to use, but if the seat is slid to its most backward position, they get buried.

Both the booster and the forward-facing convertible went in easily and had plenty of room. The buckles are on stable bases, so kids should be able to buckle themselves in.

What We Don't

Installing the infant and rear-facing convertible was a breeze, but room was an issue. Even after sliding the rear seats as far back as possible, both child-safety seats required more room. We had to move the front passenger seat forward; taller occupants will need more space to be comfortable.

The head restraints, which often impact child-safety-seat fit, were tough to remove.


(Cars.com)


(Cars.com)


(Cars.com)


(Cars.com)


(Cars.com)

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: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more 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 Graco SnugRide 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted 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 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.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.

Related
Research the 2014 Fiat 500L
More Car Seat Checks
More Safety News

By Cars.com  |  07:04 AM ET, 07/25/2013

 
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