Is there LATCH in the Center of My Car?

If you aren’t sure what LATCH is, click here, then come back to this page.

In this article we’re talking specifically about the Lower Anchors of LATCH – as almost all center seats have Tether Anchors, but few have Lower Anchors.

Center LATCH in the 2nd Row

Center LATCH in the 3rd Row

Understanding the Data in the Tables

Using the table's features: filter, group, sort, and search

Hidden Fields

You can hide or show columns by clicking on the < / > Hidden Fields icon at the top left of the table – and then choose which columns you want to see (they’ll have the green slider next to the column name) and which to hide (they’ll have the gray slider next to the column name).

This is especially helpful since this there are lots of columns! Therefore, use the hide columns to narrow things by focusing on just a few columns at a time.

Filters

You can filter the results in any of the columns you want by clicking on the Filter icon in the top left of the table.

Here are 2 examples of ways you can use filters:

Let’s say you need a vehicle with at least 7 seats. Here’s how to filter so you only see those with at least 7 seats.

Start by clicking on Filter, then “add filter”, then click the downward triangle to change the column to “seater”. Since you want at least 7 seats, you want to see the vehicles with 7 AND 8 seats. Therefore, change “is” to “is any of”. Click on “select an option” and choose “7 seater” and “8 seater”. Now all the results you’ll see are for the 7 & 8 seater vehicles, and none with 6 or fewer seats.

Let’s say you need to put 2 forward-facing kids in the 3rd row of your new vehicle. Here’s how to find the vehicles with at least 2 Tether Anchors for the 3rd row.

Start by clicking on Filter, then “add filter”, then where it says “make/mod” click on that and scroll down until you find the column name that says “TA R3”. Since you want at least 2 Tether Anchors in the 3rd row, you want to see the vehicles with both 2 or 3 tether anchors in the 3rd row. Therefore, change “is” to “is any of”. Click on the box on the right where it says “find an option” and click on “2” and “3” (don’t click on 0 or 1, as this will show you the vehicles that only have 0 or 1 tether anchors in the 3rd row).

To clear a filter, click on the filter icon at the top left, and simply click the X next to the filter or filters you want to remove.

You can have multiple filters at once. For example, you can filter first for the vehicles with at least 7 seats and then for those within this category that have at least 2 tether anchors in the 3rd row.

Grouped Fields

Grouping allows you to arrange the information in a way that can be easier to digest.

Example: In the table “All minivans & SUVs that have tether anchors in ALL positions” we’ve grouped 2 fields. We started by grouping all the vehicles by type – which means all the minivans get grouped together, and all the SUVs get grouped together. This is helpful because we know that many families are only considering one type of vehicle. Next, we added another grouping – where we chose to group by whether the vehicle was the current model or not. Let’s say you are looking for a new car (not a previously used car) – you don’t care about the older vehicles that are no longer made. In this table you’ll see that there are 2 groups within minivans – current models and not-current models – and 2 groups within SUVs – current models and not-current models. This grouping allowed us to show more of the information (the current & not-current vehicles) but cluster so that you can focus on what segments might be most helpful to you. If you don’t want to see the not-current vehicles, you can choose to filter the table using the “current model?” column and only see the vehicles that are current.

Sort

If you click “Sort” in the top toolbar, or the downward pointing triangle at the far right of each column header, you can sort the table according to whichever column (or columns) you wish.

Example: You may want to sort by “seats” first and then “TA total” which will show you which of the 8 seaters have the most tether anchors to the fewest, then which of the 7 seaters have the most tether anchors to the fewest, then which of the 6 seaters have the most tether anchors to the fewest.

Search

Use the magnifying glass in the far right at the top of the table to begin searching. As you start typing in the search box, it will highlight all the entries that contain (in any of the columns) the letters/numbers you have typed. The search works on top of any other filters you may have already applied, to further narrow your search.

Adjusting the Table

You can make a column wider or narrower by mousing over the column header’s far right side and clicking & dragging to make it wider or narrower.

You can also change the height of a row by clicking on the icon to the right of the sort icon – making a row taller can be especially helpful for viewing images better.

What info is in each column?

Abbreviations Used in this Table

LA = Lower Anchor

TA = Tether Anchor

2D = 2nd row, driver’s side seat

2C = 2nd row, center seat

2P = 2nd row, passenger side seat

3D = 3rd row, driver’s side seat

3C = 3rd row, center seat

3P = 3rd row, passenger side seat

R2 = 2nd Row

R3 = 3rd Row

N/A = not applicable

SBO = Seat Belt Overlap

Make, Model, Seats

This column tells you the make and model of the vehicle and how many seats it has.

Note: Some vehicles have multiple seating options. For example, the 2020 Volvo XC90 can come as a 6 seater or a 7 seater – therefore, you’ll see it listed twice here, once as the 6 seater, and then as the 7 seater.

LATCH Yrs

These are the model years for which the LATCH information applies. This is why you may see the same vehicle make/model in multiple rows – as it may have been redesigned several times, and each redesign brought with it differences in LATCH or other car seat related features. Since vehicles are redesigned usually every 5-10 years, you’ll typically see mulitple years in this column since the vehicle is the same for several years in a row.

Make sure to pay careful attention here – making sure that the exact year of the vehicle you are interested in matches with the year in this column.

Tether Pics

We are working hard to have a picture of the tether anchor in every SUV, minivan, hatchback, and wagon. We’ve used a picture of the actual vehicle and circled the tether anchor in green. If we don’t have a picture for the vehicle you are interested in, make sure to read the vehicle owner’s manual as they’ll always tell you where the tether anchor is.

When there are metal pieces nearby that might be confused as a tether anchor, we frequently mark them off in red – so you’ll know that they are NOT the tether anchor.

LATCH Pic

 

We’ve created images to show you the layout of the vehicle and where you have tether anchors and lower anchors in that specific vehicle.

 

 

If you’re wondering about what’s up with the number & letters in the license plate area of each vehicle diagram, this was just a way for me to keep track of all the different diagrams (there are several hundred of them).

Tether Anchors: TAs R2, TAs R3, Total TAs

These columns tell you how many tether anchors there are in the 2nd row, 3rd row, and the entire vehicle respectively. It shows you both the number of anchors in each row, and which specific locations have tether anchors.

If you know there is a particular spot in the car you need to have a forward-facing child sit – maybe for carpool purposes they need to be in 3P – then you can filter the TAs total column to show all the vehicles that have a tether anchor in 3P.

The TAs Total column is a helpful way of seeing which vehicles have tether anchors in ALL seating positions. A vehicle like this will give you the most flexibility about where a forward-facing child can sit, since a forward-facing child needs to sit where there is a tether anchor. You can filter this column to show only the vehicles that have “All” – if you want a vehicle that has tether anchors in every spot.

Start & End Year

When vehicles are redesigned, the number and location of the lower anchors and tether anchors frequently changes. These columns gives you the model year range for which the information applies to a specific vehicle. IMPORTANT NOTE: There may have been other design changes to the back seat within this model year range that could affect your ability to install a car seat in a certain location; all this range is telling you is when the lower anchors & tether anchors were in one particular configuration in that vehicle.

Lower Anchors: LAs Total, LAs R2 & R3 specific

These columns will tell you how many seating positions in the entire vehicle, 2nd row, and 3rd row respectively have lower anchors. It will also tell you if there is the ability to use the lower anchors to secure a car seat or booster in the center seat.

If you see an * this means that the position has lower anchors, but they are problematic for one of the following reasons:

  1. They are not properly aligned with the seat belt for that position – and therefore can not be used in situations where you need to use the lower anchors + seat belt simultaneously – like with a booster that you want to connect to the lower anchors, or the forward-facing Clek Foonf with rigid LATCH.
  2. They require you to borrow one lower anchor from an adjacent position to complete the pair – which means that the car seat will typically take up 2 seating positions and may not install securely as it is sitting on top of the seat belt buckle or other hardware nearby.

For example, the lower anchors in 3P of the Chrysler Pacifica are perfect – they are located within the anchor points for the seat belt for 3P (where the lap belt comes out of and where the seat belt buckle is). In contrast, the lower anchors for 3C are problematic as they are not within the anchor points for 3C’s seat belt. Rather, the anchor point for 3C’s lap belt is located within the lower anchor area for 3C. Therefore, 3P gets counted as a lower anchor position, but 3C gets a *  and won’t be counted in the LAs Total number.

Note: A few vehicles allow you to borrow the innermost lower anchors from the side seats to install a car seat in the center with the lower anchors. Because this borrowing creates a whole host of complications (not to mention it makes it such that you can’t install a car seat on either side with the lower anchors) we have NOT considered the center seat as having lower anchors in these situations. We have only counted a position as having lower anchors if it has its own pair of lower anchors that are not shared with any other position. The same goes for vehicles that have 5 lower anchors where 1 lower anchor is shared between 2 seating positions. We did not count these vehicles as having lower anchors for all 3 seats – but rather for only 2 seats – since the most number of lower anchor positions you can use at once is 2 in these situations.

Excluded LAs

We have excluded lower anchors (meaning they don’t make it into our “total # of lower anchors” count) when they overlap with the seat belt for their particular seating position. This “overlapping LA” column indicates which seating position/s have these overlapping lower anchors – so you’ll know which seating positions will be most problematic for using lower anchors to secure a car seat – and may NEVER be used to secure a booster (or a forward-facing Clek Foonf).

We excluded these overlapping lower anchors from our total count because they can’t be used to secure a booster seat in that position – as the LATCHed in booster would be sitting on top of the seat belt, which isn’t safe.

In the majority of cases, these overlapping lower anchors prevent you from having a car seat or person sit safely in the adjacent seating position as the overlap often makes it such that the car seat sits on top of the seat belt buckle for the adjacent seat. Of the few vehicles with overlapping lower anchors, it is usually only for one seating position. However, there are a few vehicles with supremely horrible placement for the lower anchors in two seating positions.

The 2004-2018 Toyota Sienna has overlapping lower anchors for 3C. Below is what you’ll see for the 2014 Sienna – note how 3C’s lower anchor position is green and red to indicate that it has lower anchors, but they are overlapping with an adjacent seat (in this case, with 3D).

Here are pictures of what the 2014 Toyota Sienna back seat really looks like to show how overlap affects the use of the 3rd row.

TAs Total

This column is a helpful way of seeing which vehicles have tether anchors in ALL seating positions. A vehicle like this will give you the most flexibility about where a forward-facing child can sit, since a forward-facing child needs to sit where there is a tether anchor.

You can filter this column to show only the vehicles that have “All” – if you want a vehicle that has tether anchors in every spot.

Center LATCH: 2C and 3C LATCH

For more information on center LATCH, click here.

There are 4 possible ways for the center seat to have Lower Anchors:

  1. There are a pair of lower anchors spaced exactly 11 inches apart (standard spacing) that are designated for the center seat.
  2. There are 4 lower anchors in the back seat and the vehicle manufacturer allows you to borrow the 2 innermost ones to install a car seat in the center – and the innermost ones are spaced exactly 11 inches apart (standard spacing)
  3. There are 4 lower anchors in the back seat and the vehicle manufacturer allows you to borrow the 2 innermost ones to install a car seat in the center – and the innermost ones are spaced wider than 11 inches apart (non-standard spacing). In these situations the car seat manufacturer must also approve of their car seat being installed with lower anchors that are at non-standard spacing. In this scenario you MUST have a car seat that approves of lower anchors that are at a wider spacing.
  4. Some vehicles add a 5th lower anchor to the center seat – which gets used along with one of the innermost lower anchors belonging to one of the side seats. This set up tends to be useless in most cases as the car seat will take up 2 seating positions and often won’t install securely as it is straddling two vehicle seats and often trying to sit on top of seat belt hardware like a buckle.
SBO, SBO R2, SBO R3

SBO = Seat Belt Overlap

We want to give you as much help as possible in narrowing down your choices about which vehicles will be best equipped for meeting your family’s needs with regards to who can sit where – and we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you which vehicles have seat belt overlap – and specifically which positions have the overlap.

We’ve separated out whether the overlap is in the 2nd row, 3rd row, or both rows – as overlap in the 2nd row is much more likely to affect your ability to use the car in a way that will meet your needs since most people use the 2nd row more frequently than the 3rd row for car seats & boosters.

Here’s why you’ll care: If 2D & 2C overlap and you were hoping to use these two spots then you’ll want to consider a different vehicle as you may or may not be able to fit 2 (people/car seats/boosters) there – but if you were only planning on using 2C and never having anyone ever ride in 2D then the overlap won’t matter to you.

Below is an example of 2D & 2C overlap in the Kia Sorento. Because the buckle for 2D is quite long it is possible to still use 2D for a person with this narrow booster in the middle – but fitting a wider car seat in 2C, or most any combo of 2 car seats in 2D & 2C won’t be possible.

If the buckle in 2D is rigid – like in the 2007-2015 Audi Q7 – the overlap between 2D & 2C is worse because now 2D’s buckle is harder to access, and the car seat in 2C is more likely to block 2D than it was in the Sorento where the 2D buckle was quite long and flexible.

Notes

This column includes some of the ‘fine print’ for specific vehicles. You can learn more about the vehicle by clicking on the link in the “CSL Page” column.

Seating Positions: Seater, R2 seats, R3 seats

Why so many columns for the number of seats in the vehicle?

If you are looking for a vehicle, it can be helpful to filter by the number of seats in the entire vehicle (seater column) – or specifically by how many seats there in a particular row (R2 seats or R3 seats).
For example, a 7 seater can either be 2 seats in the 2nd row and 3 seats in the 3rd row OR 3 seats in the 2nd row and 2 seats in the 3rd row. If you want to have your 3 kids all across the 2nd row, you’ll want to make sure to only look at the vehicles that have 3 seats in the 2nd row (and the R2 seats column will be where to turn to).

Why the R2 seats and R2 seats copy columns? For vehicles with 2 seats in the 2nd row, it can either be 2 seats side by side (2D,2C or 2C,2P) OR 2 seats on either side (2D,2P). If you have 2 kids who don’t get along… you’ll want to look for the 2D,2P arrangement.

You’ll see some vehicles listed multiple times within the same “LATCH yrs” range – this is because the same vehicle comes in mulitple seating options. For example, the Volkswagen Atlas can come as a 7-seater or an 8-seater – and each version is listed separately as the LATCH information is different when you add an extra seat.

R2 & R3 seats

R2 = 2nd Row, R3 = 3rd Row.

This tells you how many seating positions you have in the 2nd row and how many in the 3rd row.

Here’s why you may care about this. Let’s take a 7-seater vehicle. You’ll always have 2 seats in front (driver & front passenger). However, the 2nd & 3rd rows can vary in a way that might make one unsuitable for your family’s needs.

Let’s say you want to do 3-across in the 2nd row of your new 7-seater vehicle. The picture below shows two possible options for a 7-seater vehicle. If you choose a vehicle with the layout shown on the left (2 captain’s chairs in the middle row) you can’t do 3-across in the 2nd row as the 2nd row only has 2 seats! To do 3-across in the 2nd row you need a vehicle that looks like the one on the right – with 3 seats in the 2nd row. 

Center Seat Usability: 2C and 3C Booster

We’ve tried out the narrowest booster on the market in the center of many of these vehicles. Why? If this super narrow booster doesn’t fit in the center… then its best to consider this center as unfit for human consumption in most cases. Most adults won’t be able to fit their bottom in this area, and most car seats are going to be too wide to fit as well… and since we tried the narrowest booster there is and it didn’t fit, you won’t be able to put a kid in a booster there. If the center is unusable, it turns the back seat into a 2-seater rather than a 3-seater.

CSL Page

We’ve created individual pages for every vehicle on this list. The pages typically include lots more information about that vehicle – including pictures of the 2nd & 3rd rows, pictures of vehicle features (like the seat back recline lever), explanations of the layout and how that may affect car seat installation, and more. Please make sure to visit our page for any vehicle you are considering so you can learn more about it than what we could fit in this tab

Important things to consider

Retrofitting Lower Anchors & Tether Anchors

Lower anchors can not be retrofitted in any of these vehicles. Period.

Tether anchors can not be retrofitted in almost any of these vehicles – except for a few Dodge/Chrysler/Honda minivans of specific model years (all at least 15 years old now), and these exceptions are mentioned in the “notes” column.

What should you prioritize – lower anchors or tether anchors?

Tether anchors are much more important than lower anchors. You can always swap and install a car seat with the seat belt instead of the lower anchors – but there is no substitute for a tether anchor. A tether anchor is needed whenever you are have a forward-facing car seat. The tether is the most important part of a forward-facing car seat as tethers decrease how far the child’s head moves forward in a crash by at least 4-6 inches, thereby decreasing the risk of brain and spinal cord injuries.

Just because there’s lower anchors doesn’t mean you’ll get a car seat installed securely there

Here are some reasons why you may not get a secure installation even though you have lower anchors:

  • maybe the vehicle head rest in that position protrudes in a way that you can’t get a secure installation with a forward-facing seat – or pushes the car seat in a way the manufacturer prohibits
  • maybe there are humps/hinges in that seating position that prevent a secure installation
  • maybe there is overlap that prevents you from using that position because you have another car seat or booster seat in an adjacent position
  • maybe the lower anchor for one position is too close to the lower anchor for the seating position next to it (in vehicles where there are lower anchors for the center seat)
Just because there’s a tether anchor doesn’t mean you’ll get a forward-facing seat installed securely

Here are some reasons why you may not get a secure installation with a forward-facing car seat, even though you have a tether anchor:

  • Tthe center is so narrow that the car seat – even a narrow car seat – sits on top of the seat belt hardware for the center seat
  • The seating position has such egregiously long seat belt hardware – like 3C in the current Infiniti QX80, Nissan Armada, and Honda Pilot – that will prevent most/all car seats from installing securely there.
  • That seating position is so overlapped into an adjacent position, that putting a car seat there takes up 2 seating positions, not just 1 (like in a newer Nissan Rogue’s driver & center seats).
Sometimes a vehicle specifically prohibits certain side-by-side combos

This is a trend in quite a few Toyota’s (Highlander, RAV4, 4Runner) in recent model years.

  • Toyota Highlander
    • 2014, 2015 – If you install a car seat in 2P, you may not have someone sit in 2C. If you instal a car seat in 3P you may not have someone sit in 3C. Here is the exact wording from the manual: “When using the right-hand second and third seat for the child restraint system, do not sit in the center second and third seat. Seat belt function may be impaired, such as being positioned overly high or loose-fitting, which may result in death or serious injury in the event of sudden braking, sudden swerving or an accident.”
  • Toyota RAV4
    • 201320142015 – may not use the center seat when a car seat is installed on the driver’s side seat
  • Toyota 4Runner
    • 2009 (only applies to models that have a 3rd row) – you may not use the center seat (2C) if a car seat is installed with LATCH on the driver’s side (2D).
    • 2010201120122013, 2014, 2015 – (only applies to models that have a 3rd row) – you may not use the center seat (2C) if a car seat is installed with LATCH on the passenger side (2P).

Did you know that there are 9 possible combinations that can allow you to use LATCH in the center of the vehicle?

In the pictures above, there is a letter in the top right hand corner. Pictures A-H all have lower anchors for the center seat that are at the standard 11 inches. Only letter I has lower anchors that are at a wider spacing than the standard 11 inches. Only B will potentially allow you to install 3 car seats side-by-side with ALL of them installed using the lower anchors.