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By Amber Reed
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett, Senior Editor.
A car seat might not be the first thing you think of when you look at a chic little Fiat, but believe it or not, it can safely accommodate one! Every new Fiat comes with two sets of ISOFIX/LATCH anchors in the rear bench.
The arrival of a child is a major peak in a new parent’s life—but parenthood also comes with an abundance of challenges, like choosing the best car seat. Between space, pricing, safety ratings, and recalls, the quest to find the perfect seat to keep your baby safe can be extremely stressful.
Car insurance super app Jerry is here to help ease a little of that stress with our guide to car seats and Fiats. We’ll cover what kinds might be best, which Fiats are more child-friendly, and provide an overview of car seat laws by state. Buckle up, kids!
How to choose a car seat for a Fiat
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the organization that sets the standards for what kind of car seat a child aged 0–12 needs. The desired seat varies according to age, weight, and height, and sometimes the guidelines overlap a bit.
The NHTSA has a great website for all things car seat related, including an online tool that lets you enter your child’s information to determine the seat that is recommended.
Generally speaking, the NHTSA recommends keeping your kids in the back seat until they are 12. Until they outgrow the manufacturer’s maximum specifications (typically about three years of age), use a rear-facing seat as long as you can.
A front-facing car seat is the proper choice for children between the ages of four and seven. After that, it’s recommended that kids use a booster seat until they are 12 years old or taller than four feet and nine inches.
Need some guidance as far as what kind of car seat you need? Take a look at the table below for details.
|Rear-facing||0-12 months and up to three years||Protects neck and spinal cord during crashes||Infant car seat, convertible seat (for 12+ months), or all-in-one seat (for 12+ months)|
|Forward-facing||Four to seven years OR over manufacturer’s weight and height limits for rear-facing seats||Uses a harness and tether to limit forward movement during crashes||Convertible seat, all-in-one seat, or combination seat|
|Booster seat||Seven to 12 years OR over manufacturer’s weight and height limits for front-facing seats||Raises the child so the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly||Combination seat, all-in-one seat, high back booster seat (for cars without headrests), or backless booster seat (for cars with headrests)|
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The best car seats for Fiat owners
The right car seat for your family will depend on a lot of things, but here are a few that are well-suited to a Fiat. Of course, remember to thoroughly measure the dimensions of your car’s interior when shopping for car seats. Many baby supply stores will let you try one before you buy it to make sure it fits.
- Narrow profile: Clek Fllo Compact Convertible ($499)
The NHTSA’s Car Seat Finder is a reliable way to find an appropriate car seat and it also rates them based on four “ease of use” categories: evaluation of instructions, vehicle installation features, evaluation of labels, and securing the child in the seat. If you’ve ever dealt with installing a car seat (and then installing a kid in said car seat), you know how important these factors are.
For trustworthy information on booster seats, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has a great website that rates and evaluates booster seats.
Installing a car seat in a Fiat
Whatever car seat you decide on, getting it properly installed in your Fiat is key. The compact nature of a Fiat can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s still doable!
The consensus among parents with Fiats is that in order to get the car seat properly positioned in the back, you’ll need to have the front passenger seat pulled fully forward and upright. If you have a tall person riding shotgun, this may be a bit of a squeeze for them.
Since 2002, all cars sold in the US are required to have special attachment points for car seats that conform to international standards (called ISOFIX in the EU, LATCH in the US). Fiats come with two sets of these in the rear bench area.
The NHTSA website has detailed instructions for installing different types of car seats, but the basic points are the same no matter what kind of car seat you’re putting in your Fiat:
- Start by thoroughly reading the instruction manuals for both the car seat and the vehicle you’re installing it in.
- Securely connect the car seat or seat base using either the seat belt or ISOFIX/LATCH lower anchors.
- Test the seat’s movement by wiggling it a bit and secure it tighter if it moves more than an inch in any direction.
- Buckle your child in snugly.
Safety experts advise that it’s safest to put a car seat behind the front passenger seat. Even though the middle rear seat may seem like the most protected spot during a crash, the outer seats have some advantages:
- Outer rear seats will generally have the standardized ISOFIX/LATCH attachment anchors required by law for child safety seats. Installing a car seat in the center position without these anchors can compromise safety.
- You’ll be able to keep an eye on your child more easily, minimizing distractions and enabling you to keep your eyes on the road.
- Having the car seat behind the passenger seat allows you easy access to your child when loading and unloading them and you’ll be protected from traffic.
It may seem counterintuitive, but do not put your baby’s car seat in the front seat next to you. Rear-facing car seats are not designed to be in the front seat and placing them there actually poses a severe safety threat to the child.
Feeling a bit nervous? It’s understandable! Fortunately, the folks at the NHTSA also have a tool for finding a location near you to have your car seat installation evaluated by a pro.
The best family Fiats for car seats
Any Fiat that is from 2002 or later will have the appropriate car seat anchors, but some models are a little more family-friendly than others. The 500 line was reintroduced around 2007, and there are only a few models that have been produced.
Starting price: $26,215
NHTSA safety rating: Not rated
IIHS safety rating: Good
IIHS LATCH ease of use: Not rated
This is Fiat’s current offering and the only one that you can buy new. The 500X comes with 75 standard and available safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning. The big advantage when it comes to the 500X is that it has four doors, which makes wrangling all things child-related a lot easier.
Used price: $11,000 to $13,000
NHTSA safety rating: Not rated
IIHS safety rating: Poor
IIHS LATCH ease of use: Not rated
The Fiat 500L was the model that preceded the 500X, and while it has the advantage of four doors, a poor safety rating from the IIHS means it’s not the ideal choice for a family car.
Used price: Highly variable
NHTSA safety rating: 4 stars
IIHS safety rating: Not rated
IIHS LATCH ease of use: Not rated
The 500 was the model that was reintroduced in 2007 and is likely what springs to mind when you think of Fiat. Although the two doors and limited trunk space might not scream “family car,” there are many people online who have both a Fiat 500 and kids in car seats and swear that it can be done!
Key Takeaway If you have your heart set on toting your wee ones around in a Fiat, the 500X is likely your best bet.
Car seat laws by state
Of course, not only does the car seat need to fit, but it also needs to meet the laws of the state where you live. Check the table below for the details on car seat laws and regulations in your state:
|State||Minimum requirements for adult seat belt||Maximum base fine|
|Alaska||7+ years OR 57 inches or 65+ pounds||$50|
|Arizona||5+ years AND 57+ inches||$50|
|Arkansas||6+ years OR 60+ pounds||$100|
|California||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$100|
|Connecticut||8+ years AND 60+ pounds||$50|
|Delaware||8+ years OR 66+ pounds||$25|
|Hawaii||4+ years AND 57 inches or 40+ pounds||$100|
|Illinois||8+ years OR 40+ pounds where only a lap belt is available||$75|
|Kansas||8+ years OR 80+ pounds OR 57+ inches||$60|
|Kentucky||57+ inches||$50 for children restraint, $30 for booster seat|
|Louisiana||9+ years OR above manufacturer’s height and weight restrictions||$100|
|Maine||57+ inches OR 80+ pounds||$50|
|Maryland||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$50|
|Massachusetts||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$25|
|Michigan||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$10|
|Minnesota||8+ years AND 57+ inches||$25|
|Mississippi||65+ pounds OR 57+ inches||$25|
|Missouri||8+ years OR 80+ pounds OR 57+ inches||$50 if child is under 80 pounds or 57 inches; $10 for others|
|New Hampshire||7+ years OR 57+ inches||$50|
|New Jersey||8+ years or 57+ inches||$75|
|New Mexico||7+ years||$25|
|New York||8+ years||$100|
|North Carolina||8+ years OR 40-80 pounds in seats without shoulder belts||$25|
|North Dakota||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$25|
|Oklahoma||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$50|
|Oregon||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$115|
|Rhode Island||8+ years OR 80+ pounds OR 57+ inches||$85|
|South Carolina||8+ years OR 57+ inches *only if* belt fits correctly||$150|
|South Dakota||5+ years OR 40+ pounds||$25|
|Tennessee||9+ years or 57+ inches||$50|
|Texas||8+ years||$25 (minimum)|
|Utah||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$25|
|Vermont||8+ years AND 20+ pounds||$25|
|Washington||57+ inches OR 4+ years where only a lap belt is available||$124|
|West Virginia||8+ years OR 57+ inches||$20|
|Wisconsin||8+ years OR 80+ pounds and 57+ inches||$75|
How to find affordable Fiat insurance
Now that you’ve found the best car seat for your Fiat, take a few more minutes to make sure you’ve got the best car insurance coverage.
Car insurance super app Jerry knows how important it is to keep your littles safe—and how expensive it can be, too. The top-rated Jerry app will make short work of getting you the most savings possible on car insurance—without sacrificing any of the coverage your family needs. Sign-up is quick and easy because we know you’ve got your hands full.
The typical Jerry user saves an average of $887 a year, which can free up some cash for more coverage, more baby toys, or more babysitters. You deserve a night off!
Compare insurance quotes from 50+ carriers with Jerry in under 45 seconds
Does Fiat have Isofix?
Yes. All Fiats made since 2002 have two sets of ISOFIX/LATCH child seat mounting points on the rear bench. They might be easier to access on some models than others, so make sure to consult your Fiat’s manual for details.