decent rear legroom makes the 2018 lexus nx 300 fairly accommodating when it comes to rear-facing car seats, which usually take up a lot of space. in terms of forward-facing seats, however, it was a completely different story. it was a challenge to install a booster in the compact suv's backseat due to a tricky buckle setup. the nx also lost points for a roof-mounted top tether anchor, which blocks the driver's view when in use.
related: more car seat checks
- rear-facing convertible, grade a: installation was easy, and we were able to move the front passenger seat back for a bit more legroom.
- forward-facing convertible, grade a: we installed this seat using an outboard top tether anchor, and connection was easy. the seat fit well once we removed the head restraint.
- latch, grade b: the two sets of anchors sit just within the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet, and the seat reclines to make them more accessible. access and connection were easy. there are three tether anchors, and the outboard ones are clearly marked and easy to use. the middle one is in the ceiling, however, and connection is awkward; also, it will block the driver's view when in use.
- infant seat, grade b: latch connection was easy. we moved the front passenger seat forward a bit to accommodate the infant seat. our 5-foot-6-inch passenger had just enough room; taller passengers will need more space.
- booster, grade c: we raised the head restraint to install this seat but still had trouble getting it to sit flat on the seat bottom cushion. the middle buckle comes down from the ceiling (which would block the driver's view when in use) and connects in the center of the seat on the driver's side, complicating how the booster sits on the seat if that's where it's installed. the buckles are also on recessed bases, which will make them tough for kids to grasp and use independently.
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.
's editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. in line with 's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. the editorial department is independent of 's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.