Honda CR-V

2017-2018 Honda CR-V

The CR-V was redesigned for 2017… and it wasn’t a good redesign if you’re looking to fill up the back seat with kids in car seats. If you need to do 3-across, or fit 2 (car seats, or 1 car seat + 1 adult) in the driver & center seats, this is NOT the vehicle for you.

While the 2012-2016 CR-V had pretty bad seat belt overlap between 2D and 2C, it got worse for 2017 as Honda now wraps a thick plastic casing around 2D’s buckle and 2C’s seat belt and continues to criss-cross the seat belts for 2D & 2C. One good change for 2017 is that all the head restraints are now removable (helpful for many forward-facing seats & high back boosters to fit better).

We spent several hours with a 2017 CR-V trying to figure out how to put a car seat in 2C and still be able to use 2D… and we struck out on most attempts either because the car seat in 2C blocked the use of 2D’s buckle and/or 2D was rendered too narrow to fit a car seat or booster.

We purposely picked car seats that are on the narrower side (and those that we had on hand that day)… as we were aiming for success, not failure! We tried out the following car seats (listed alphabetically):

While we did not have a Chicco Fit2 to try, we anticipate that it would yield the same results as the Chicco Key Fit 30 did – and the Fit2 is a much better option as it will last most kids about a year longer than the Key Fit 30.

Here’s what worked:

So, if you are looking for seats for your 2017 & newer CR-V… we’d suggest using a Chicco Fit2 in the center using LATCH so you can put an adult in 2D and they can buckle their seat belt. If you need car seats in 2D and 2C, we’d suggest the IMMI Go in 2D & rear-facing Foonf in 2C, or the Diono Radian forward-facing in 2D & Chicco Fit2 in 2C.

Here’s what didn’t work:

For those who want to see what did and didn’t work, here’s a terribly boring video we made as we tried all these various car seats in the ’17 CR-V.

There are 5 lower anchors in the CR-V – with one shared between 2D & 2C (as shown below). Learn more about this type of center LATCH here.

The shoulder belt for 2C comes from the roof (yes this is safe) – see here for how to use, connect, and disconnect this type of seat belt.


Center tether anchor in the roof

Tether anchors for the side seats are circled in green. Red X’s mark two metal rings that could easily be confused for tether anchors – but are NOT tether anchors.

Lower anchors hidden in a vertical slit in the fabric


2012-2016 Honda CR-V

The CR-V was redesigned for 2012. The head restraints for 2D & 2P are now fixed (they only flip up/down) and are not removable.

2012 saw the introduction of rigid buckles for all 3 seats – as in previous years the buckles were all flexible. This was not a good change for 2012. Specifically, installing many car seats in the center seat doesn’t work as they sit on or otherwise block the buckle for the driver’s side seat. For those looking to put an infant seat in the center and an adult behind the driver, we’ve found the Nuna Pipa to be a great choice as it leaves the driver’s side buckle completely accessible (when the Pipa is installed with rigid LATCH + load leg) – see picture below. Ironically, in the 2017 & newer CR-V, the Pipa won’t even LATCH into 2C as the buckle for 2D sticks into the Pipa and prevents it from connecting to the lower anchors.

The shoulder belt for 2C comes from the roof (yes this is safe) – see here for how to use, connect, and disconnect this type of seat belt.

There are 5 lower anchors in the CR-V – with one shared between 2D & 2C (as shown below). Learn more about this type of center LATCH here.

Honda CRV Tether anchor in roof

The below pictures (showing the Chicco Key Fit 30’s) were taken before the Chicco Fit2 was on the market. Since the Fit2 lasts a year longer than the KeyFit and has a European belt path on the carrier while the KeyFit has an American belt path, we’d suggest the Fit2 instead. 


2007-2011 Honda CR-V

2007 saw the redesign of the CR-V with the addition of a 5th lower anchor to allow for center LATCH. There are 5 lower anchors in this CR-V – with one shared between 2D & 2C (as shown below). Learn more about this type of center LATCH here. Due to the off-centeredness of this center LATCH, and the large plastic-covered hinge that sticks out in the middle of this seating position, you’ll find that center LATCH in this car isn’t as useful as it may at first seem… and may prefer to install a car seat in the center with the seat belt in some cases.

The seat belt buckles for all 3 seats are flexible (which is good). The center and passenger seats are quite narrow – and fitting 2 car seats side by side on these two seats is impossible with most combinations.

The head restraints for all 3 seats are adjustable and removable.

The shoulder belt for 2C continues to come from the roof (yes this is safe) – see here for how to use, connect, and disconnect this type of seat belt.


2002-2006 Honda CR-V

2002 saw the introduction of the lower anchors (LATCH) and a redesign of the back seat with a 60/40 split, with the driver’s side being the 40% side. 2002 was the first model year to feature a shoulder belt and head restraint for the center seat. The shoulder belt for 2C comes from the roof (yes this is safe) – see here for how to use, connect, and disconnect this type of seat belt. The tether anchors for this model year range are all in the roof (right where the trunk door opens).

The seat belt buckle for 2C comes out of the seat cushion significantly far forward of the seat crease, and several inches closer to the passenger side than where it is anchored in the vehicle, which sadly narrows the center. In some cases it is possible to reroute the center seat belt buckle so that it emerges from the cushion and goes straight up, rather than going sideways and then up as it comes from the factory – this can be necessary depending on what car seat you are trying to install in 2C.


1997-2001 Honda CR-V

This model year range features head restraints and shoulder belts for 2D & 2P, but sadly only a lap belt and no head restraint in 2C.

2001 saw the introduction of tether anchors for all 3 seats in back (all tether anchors in this vehicle are located on the ceiling – right where the trunk door opens). Tether anchors can be retrofitted for the 1997-2000 CR-V in 2D and 2P only… not in 2C (sadly). Except for the tether anchors, the back seat is the same for this model year range 1997-2001.