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2011 Subaru Tribeca: Car Seat Check

By: François Raymond Date: Wednesday 30 March 2011

MAR 18 2011 BY JENNIFER NEWMAN

With three rows of seats standard, the 2011 Subaru Tribeca is a crossover for families looking for seating for up to seven people and the automaker’s standard all-wheel drive. The Tribeca’s three-seat second row slides forward and back, but was there enough room for rear-facing child-safety seats?

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Cosco rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Graco convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back booster seat. The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The child seats are installed in the second row and, if available, third row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat.

Here’s how the 2011 Tribeca scored in MotherProof.com’s Car Seat Check:

Latch system: The Tribeca has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row and none in the third row. The anchors are buried in the seat bight, making them difficult to access. Reclining the seatback helped to expose the anchors somewhat, but the seat cushioning still got in our tester’s way.

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There are five tether anchors in the Tribeca, with three on the second-row seatbacks and two for the third row along the lip of the cargo floor. All were easy to use.

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Booster seat: The high-back booster seat fit well in the second row (photo above), and the seat belt buckles are stable and stick up high enough that they should be easy for kids to grasp when buckling up.

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In the third row, the booster seat (photo above) also fit well and the seat belt buckles were easy to use. However, third-row legroom could be tight, even with the second row moved forward. Make sure to take a look at this when test-driving this crossover.

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Convertible child-safety seat: Adjusting the second-row’s reclining seatback helped us to get a good fit for our forward-facing convertible. However, the rear-facing convertible didn’t fit as easily. Even with the second row moved all the way back, we still had to move the front passenger seat several inches forward to get the rear-facing convertible to fit properly. This left the front passenger cramped in the front row.

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Rear-facing infant-safety seat: We didn’t have to move the front passenger seat as far forward to fit the rear-facing infant safety seat in the second row, but we did move it a couple of inches. The front passenger had just enough legroom to keep her knees from hitting the glove box, but she was still uncomfortable because her feet were pushed at an awkward angle against the front of the footwell.

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Do two car seats fit? Yes, two car seats fit in both the second and third rows.

Do three car seats fit? While a total of four car seats will fit in the Tribeca, three car seats won’t fit in the second row’s bench seat.

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