hyundai's newest suv, the kona, is the smallest in its lineup, slotting below the tucson. there's a lot to like about the funky and spunky little kona — as long as you don't plan to use it to cart around rear-facing car seats. limited-access latch anchors and a lack of legroom make the new subcompact suv's backseat unfriendly when it comes to car seats.
related: more car seat checks
- latch, grade b: two sets of anchors sit about a half-inch into the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet. the cloth upholstery is very stiff, so it requires some muscle to connect using both the infant's skinny connectors and the convertible's chunky ones. there are three top tether anchors on the seatback; they're clearly marked and easy to use.
- rear-facing convertible, grade c: we had to move the front passenger seat up significantly, and our 5-foot-6-inch-tall front passenger wasn't comfortable. it was also tricky to connect to the latch anchors.
- forward-facing convertible, grade b: after we raised the head restraint, the seat fit well, though latch placement complicated installation.
- booster, grade b: after we raised the head restraint, the seat fit well. the buckles sink into the seat cushions, however, which makes them tough for kids to grasp and use.
- infant seat, grade d: we had to move the front passenger seat up as far as it would go to make room for this seat. the front passenger's knees were against the dash. it was also tricky to connect to the latch anchors.
solid indicates an a grade for optimum ease of use and fit. so-so indicates b or c grades for one to two ease-of-use or fit issues. skip it indicates d or f grades.
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: one room, fit or connection issue. some problems accessing third row when available.
c: marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. difficult to access third row when available.
d: insufficient room, plus multiple fit or connection issues.
f: does not fit or is unsafe.
about 's car seat checks
editors jennifer geiger, jennifer newman and matt schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
for the car seat check, we use a graco snugride classic connect 30 infant-safety seat, a britax marathon convertible seat and graco turbobooster seat. the front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter 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. learn more about how we conduct our car seat checks.
parents should also remember that they can use the latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.
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