58% of parents say car seats drive their car purchase decisions: Cars.com 2022 car seat fit report card grades vehicles on fit and safety for families

Sample article from our Consumer Wellness

CHICAGO , August 18, 2022 (press release) –

Almost half of parents have installed car seats incorrectly, while 33% test-drive car seats at the dealership before signing on the dotted line

Car-shopping marketplace Cars.com™ (NYSE: CARS) reports 60% of parents find car seat installation at least somewhat frustrating, which is no surprise given almost half of parents have installed their car seats incorrectly — a serious safety hazard. To help current and soon-to-be parents and caregivers, Cars.com today unveiled its 2022 Car Seat Fit Report Card with researched insights on the family vehicles that best fit car seats for infants, toddlers and young children. 

“Not all vehicles are built the same. Our team has provided Car Seat Checks for more than 650 vehicles over the years to ensure parents and caregivers can make informed car-buying decisions,” said Jennifer Geiger, Cars.com news editor and certified child-passenger safety technician. “With nearly 60% of parents choosing their vehicle based on car seat fit, it’s encouraging to see this year’s Car Seat Fit Report Card expand significantly to include vehicles at various price points as well as hybrid and electric models. Car manufacturers are listening and offering more options for America’s growing families.”

Cars.com compiled Car Seat Check scores for 52 vehicles evaluated over the last 12 months from July 2021 through July 2022 by its certified child-passenger safety technicians and assigned a letter grade to each of the model-year 2021-23 vehicles evaluated. The complete list can be found at Cars.com/News/Car-Seat-Check. 

This year, 11 vehicles achieved straight A’s on Cars.com’s Car Seat Fit Report Card:


Vehicle Latch Infant Rear-Facing Convertible (Second Row) Forward-Facing Convertible (Second) Booster (Second)
2022 Acura RDX A A A A A
2022 Audi Q5 Sportback A A A A A
2022 Cadillac XT5 A A A A A
2022 Ford Escape PHEV A A A A A
2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid A A A A A
2022 Kia EV6 A A A A A
2022 Volkswagen ID.4 A A A A A
2022 Volkswagen Tiguan A A A A A
2021 Audi Q5 Sportback A A A A A
2021 Ford Escape PHEV A A A A A
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 A A A A A


Cars.com conducted a consumer survey to learn more about how car seats impact parents’ car purchase decisions and how Americans plan for their growing families when it comes to their vehicles. Here’s what they said: 

  • Try before you buy. When considering their most recent vehicle purchase, 58% of parents based their decision on car seat fit, leading to 33% of parents actually bringing the car seat to the dealership to test the seat before making a purchase decision. The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is a roomy compact SUV that easily handles all stages of car seats — from rear-facing infant seats to high-back booster seats. 
  • The larger your family, the more planning required. For the more than 58% of parents that said the car seat played a role in their car purchase decision, 85% said the need to upgrade to a larger vehicle happened when they realized they had multiple children in car seats or when they had another child. Planning ahead with a larger vehicle your family can grow into will save on the frustration down the road. For example, the rugged and stylish 2022 Ford F-150 offers loads of space for three car seats across, and its exposed Latch anchors made installing them a breeze. 
  • Safety tech is an expectation. Parent-friendly tech features are also a consideration, with almost 3 in 4 parents (73%) saying child safety features like backup cameras, rear-seat alert systems and car-seat Latch systems were very important when considering a vehicle. Families looking for high tech should consider the 2022 Honda Odyssey, which excels in accommodating car seats and comes with many standard safety features, including the CabinWatch system, which lets front-seat occupants easily monitor second- and third-row passengers on the touchscreen via a ceiling-mounted camera. 


The Cars.com Car Seat Fit Report Card compiles 12 months, July to July, worth of comprehensive Car Seat Checks conducted by Cars.com’s team of experts. Each Car Seat Check is performed by a Cars.com certified child-passenger safety technician who installs three types of car seats — infant, convertible and high-back booster — into each new vehicle and evaluates the vehicle’s Latch system, as well as how the vehicle accommodates the different car seats.

To learn more about how Cars.com performs its Car Seat Checks, or to see how well a car seat will fit in your family vehicle or a vehicle you are considering purchasing, visit www.cars.com/news/car-seat-check.

Cars.com consumer survey; July 27-30, 2022; 1,005 responses



CARS is the leading automotive marketplace platform that provides a robust set of digital solutions that connect car shoppers with sellers. Launched in 1998 with the flagship marketplace Cars.com and headquartered in Chicago, the Company empowers shoppers with the data, resources and digital tools needed to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers. In a rapidly changing market, CARS enables dealerships and OEMs with innovative technical solutions and data-driven intelligence to better reach and influence ready-to-buy shoppers, increase inventory turn and gain market share.

In addition to Cars.com™, the Company’s brands include Dealer Inspire®, a technology provider building solutions to future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations and connected digital experiences; FUEL™, an advertising solution providing dealers and OEMs the benefit of leveraging targeted digital video marketing to Cars.com’s audience of in-market car shoppers; DealerRater®, a leading car dealer review and reputation management technology solution; CreditIQ™, digital financing technology and Accu-Trade™, vehicle valuation and appraisal technology. The Company’s portfolio of brands also includes Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com™ and NewCars.com®.

The full suite of CARS properties includes Cars.com™, Dealer Inspire®, FUEL™, DealerRater®, CreditIQ™, Accu-Trade.com™,  Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com™ and NewCars.com®. For more information, visit www.Cars.com.

 CARS is driving the future of automotive retail with innovative digital marketplace solutions for consumers, dealer customers and major automotive manufacturers. Our brands (Cars.com, Dealer Inspire, DealerRater) create “car chemistry” by connecting buyers and sellers, matching people with their perfect car, and inspiring a better shopping, selling and buying experience. We are leaders in innovation who thrive on change. We believe in “career chemistry” and match our employees’ passions with opportunities to push the boundaries in the automotive and tech industries together. Our tech is nothing without our team of creative, passionate people who are putting the pedal to the metal every day to reinvent the car shopping experience.

Our company

Cars.com invented car search. Our site and suite of innovative solutions connect buyers and sellers to match people with their perfect car.

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