After years of waiting, Tesla's Model 3 is finally on sale. For all its dazzling design and technological wizardry, Tesla's newest — and smallest — sedan is fairly ordinary when it comes to car seats — which is good news for eco-minded consumers looking to use the electric car for family duty.
Related: More Car Seat Checks
- Rear-facing convertible, grade A: This seat had ample room and it was easier to connect to the Latch anchors with the convertible's chunkier connectors than it was with the infant seat's thin, hooklike connectors.
- Latch, grade B: The two sets of lower anchors aren't set too deeply into the seat bight, but the upholstery is stiff so accessing the anchor required a bit of muscle to connect when installing the infant seat with its skinnier, hooklike connectors. With the convertible seat's thicker, more rigid connectors, it wasn't a problem. The three tethers on the rear shelf are clearly marked for easy connection.
- Infant, grade B: This seat had ample room, but we needed to use a bit of muscle to connect to the Latch anchors.
- Forward-facing convertible, grade B: This seat installed easily, but the fixed head restraint pushed the car seat forward on the seatback, which is not ideal. It should be flush against the seatback.
- Booster, grade B: The fixed head restraint didn't interfere with how the booster fit on the seat. The buckles are flush with the seat-bottom cushion, however, which could make them tough for kids to find and use.
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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