What car will accommodate me and my child car seats?

A family is looking for a car that can accommodate a tall driver and two child car seats...

Two girls in child car seats in car

I want to change my Ford Kuga, preferably for a new SUV, because my wife and I are expecting our second child. We already have a 16-month-old son, who uses a car seat in the nearside rear seat of the Kuga. 

We have, in hindsight, been short-sighted in buying the Kuga, which won't accommodate a child seat in the back on the driver's side, because I am 6ft 4in tall and need to push my seat a long way back in order to be comfortable enough to drive.

Which SUVs will allow me to extend the driver’s seat backwards and still enable us to fit a child seat on the rear offside?

Roderick Rymer  

 What Car? says…

Our top recommendation is the Peugeot 5008, which is our 2020 Large SUV of the Year because it provides the high-tech gadgetry and driving manners you’d expect from a more prestigious rival, in a package that’s significantly cheaper to buy, more practical and stylish. 

With the front and second-row seats in standard positions, it has the most rear knee – or in your case child seat – room, and the added advantage of three separate second-row seats that can each be slid back and forth to increase rear space and be reclined slightly to aid the fitting of a deeper child seat.

Peugeot 5008 front- 69 plate

The 5008 is also one of the wider large SUVs, and that means if your family grows again in the future, you’ll be able to fit three child seats across the second row. It comes with two third-row seats, but these are only suitable for seatbelt-secured child seats, whereas the second row has three sets of Isofix child seat mounting points. 

The latest Ford Kuga and other large SUVs, including the Skoda Kodiaq and Mazda CX-5, have sliding rear benches but not three separate seats.

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Citroën C5 Aircross

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Best cars for three child car seats

Citroën’s large SUV uses the same underpinnings as the Peugeot 5008, but it can’t be had with seven seats, limiting its practicality. 

It has Isofix mounts for the two outer rear seats, plus two top tether points for these, and no underfloor storage compartments, so seats with support legs can be used in both of these positions. 

The three rear seats all slide back and forwards independently. Although you can't use an Isofix seat or one with a leg support in the centre rear seat, you can fit an infant carrier in, secured using a seatbelt. 

C5 Aircross graphic

Blue tick = seatbelt-secured seat

Black tick = other seatbelt-secured seat may fit

Black cross = child seat not allowed

Honda CR-V

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Unlike its predecessor, the latest CR-V can be ordered with seven seats, and the two rearmost pews are easy to pull up out of the boot floor using straps. However, there are no Isofix mounts for these seats, and it’s not permitted to use child seats in the third row or the centre middle-row seat. 

There are two Isofix mounts in the second row, and we fitted two of our seats into these with ease.   

Although older children or adults could use the third row, they’d have to be pretty athletic to get there, because they’d need to climb over the flattened middle-row seat.