NissanLeaf is one of the market's most popular, best-selling, and practical EVs. But when it comes to installing car seats, is the Leaf still a good choice?
Early Nissan Leaf models
First introduced in late 2010, the Nissan Leaf was deemed the
family vehicleof the future. At the time, this small sedan/wannabe minivan was the talk of the town.
Car Seat Blog, you need to use the seatbelt instead of the lower Latch anchors if you plan to install car seats in a Nissan Leaf. If you get a tight installation using the seatbelt, this shouldn’t be too difficult.
In order to lock the seatbelt, you need to use the provided lock-off device on your car seat. If there isn’t one, consult the owner's manual for details on how to switch the retractor.
However, the center seating position is super narrow (9 inches between the seat belt anchors) and may cause issues if you want to place your child in the middle. Reviewers also found that an infant carrier fits well between the two front seats, and still allows drivers to move the front seats back on the seat track.
The 2011-2019 Nissan Leaf offers no head restraint in 2C. Unfortunately, this makes 2C pretty much useless for children in backless boosters due to the high risk of whiplash. “The Leaf’s relatively flat back seat and flexible buckles may allow for 2 car seats to be installed side by side (assuming they are narrower car seats),”
The Car Seat Ladytells us.
Also, don’t expect to be able to use all the lower anchors for boosters, as they’re off-center with the seat belt.
Car seats in a Nissan Leaf: 2020 and 2021
The Nissan Leaf was redesigned in 2018, but in 2020 the EV received its best standard safety equipment yet. Car seat installation became much more simple, with easy-to-access Latch anchors. Not much changed for the 2021 model.
Though it can’t fit three car seats, the 2020/2021 hatchback does offer two sets of exposed anchors. According to
Cars.com, “The three top tether anchors are clearly marked on the seatback but buried in the upholstery, so you have to push past the seatback carpet to expose them for connection.”
Cars.com was pleased with infant seat installation, as their 5-foot-6-inch-tall front passenger had lots of legroom. The rear-facing convertible didn’t present any issues either. Booster seats fit well after you raise the head restraint, and the stable seat buckles make the setup a breeze.
While the previously mentioned seats received an A grade from Cars.com, the forward-facing convertible earned a B rating. “After raising the head restraint, the seat fit well. It earned a B for its top tether connection; the anchors are buried in the seatback carpet and might be easy to miss and difficult to expose,” the automotive website notes.
Protecting your family
If you don’t have a need for three car seats in a Nissan Leaf, it’s still an excellent and versatile family hatchback. You’ll just need to put in a little extra effort to properly install a forward-facing convertible seat when your child gets older.
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