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Surprisingly Great for Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats - 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 9,975
edited February 2015 in Audi
imageSurprisingly Great for Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats - 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

Incredibly, our long-term 2015 Audi A3 sedan is a parent's dream for installing a rear-facing convertible car seat.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • lmbvettelmbvette South FloridaPosts: 93
    Well, it fits I guess. Can you move the front seats back at all?

    Don't worry about what other people think. Drive what makes you happy.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    We've now gotten to the point that a 3400-lb. entry-luxury sedan is OK for "a second car for a family."

    Glad I finished up with child-carting duties before the advent of the insane car-seat metastasize-ation.
  • lmbvette said:

    Well, it fits I guess. Can you move the front seats back at all?

    Yes, we could move the front seats back, but we don't need to... I'm 5'-10" and my husband is about 5'-9" so any farther back would be too far to reach the pedals.
  • I am an Audi guy, and the father of a nine month son, so this article is timely. As I understand it, the use of the outboard LATCH anchors for the center seat is not recommended, either by Audi or the LATCH folks. The advice I've gotten is to use the shoulder belt as it is just as safe when correctly installed. Not telling you that you shouldn't use the LATCH, just that it is technically (as I understand it) improper. Draw your own conclusions.
  • I understand it the same as lesdiamon, but I don't understand it. It seems perfectly logical that as long as the width between anchors works, then mounting the carseat like this shouldn't introduce any different loads to the anchors than what they are designed for. It would be awesome to have Edmond's do an article with some expert input on the subject. Another issue though, is that it eliminates the ability to put a seat in the middle and another on the side using the latch for both seats. Not a huge deal as you could just use the belt, but was a big concern for my wife.
  • s197gts197gt Posts: 485
    yeah, better check the manual and LATCH recommendations. the LATCH connectors can only be so far apart. whatever the number of max inches is, if the spread is too much it isn't recommended.

    i've never been a fan of the middle seat anyway; because it is harder to get the child into the middle seat. now, if there are two adults also sitting in the back seat then the middle seat for the car seat is the way to go. but at that point putting the child into the middle seat falls on them (usually my wife) at that point to!
  • So Audi considered car seats for just one kid? Do Germans not have more than one kid now or something?

    Those giant stupid looking headrests seem like they would pretty much preclude any possibility of putting a rear-facing car seat behind either the passenger or the driver.
  • Can someone explain what's up with the back of the front-seat headrests? They look... weird.
  • ericheseriches Posts: 80
    edited February 2015

    I am an Audi guy, and the father of a nine month son, so this article is timely. As I understand it, the use of the outboard LATCH anchors for the center seat is not recommended, either by Audi or the LATCH folks. The advice I've gotten is to use the shoulder belt as it is just as safe when correctly installed. Not telling you that you shouldn't use the LATCH, just that it is technically (as I understand it) improper. Draw your own conclusions.

    csubowtie said:

    I understand it the same as lesdiamon, but I don't understand it. It seems perfectly logical that as long as the width between anchors works, then mounting the carseat like this shouldn't introduce any different loads to the anchors than what they are designed for. It would be awesome to have Edmond's do an article with some expert input on the subject. Another issue though, is that it eliminates the ability to put a seat in the middle and another on the side using the latch for both seats. Not a huge deal as you could just use the belt, but was a big concern for my wife.

    My particular car seat allows use of the inboard LATCH anchors as long as the vehicle owner's manual says it's OK. That said, when I leafed through the A3's manual, I didn't find anything definitive that I could or couldn't put a car seat (with a LATCH install) in the center, so I decided, eh, it's probably OK. Especially since I got the seat snugged down very tight in that position with way less than 1 inch of movement in either direction (also my child + car seat are still way under the 65-pound combined weight limit for LATCH). But your points are well taken and I will do further research to make sure what I did really is permissible.
  • eriches said:

    I am an Audi guy, and the father of a nine month son, so this article is timely. As I understand it, the use of the outboard LATCH anchors for the center seat is not recommended, either by Audi or the LATCH folks. The advice I've gotten is to use the shoulder belt as it is just as safe when correctly installed. Not telling you that you shouldn't use the LATCH, just that it is technically (as I understand it) improper. Draw your own conclusions.

    csubowtie said:

    I understand it the same as lesdiamon, but I don't understand it. It seems perfectly logical that as long as the width between anchors works, then mounting the carseat like this shouldn't introduce any different loads to the anchors than what they are designed for. It would be awesome to have Edmond's do an article with some expert input on the subject. Another issue though, is that it eliminates the ability to put a seat in the middle and another on the side using the latch for both seats. Not a huge deal as you could just use the belt, but was a big concern for my wife.

    My particular car seat allows use of the inboard LATCH anchors as long as the vehicle owner's manual says it's OK. That said, when I leafed through the A3's manual, I didn't find anything definitive that I could or couldn't put a car seat (with a LATCH install) in the center, so I decided, eh, it's probably OK. Especially since I got the seat snugged down very tight in that position with way less than 1 inch of movement in either direction (also my child + car seat are still way under the 65-pound combined weight limit for LATCH). But your points are well taken and I will do further research to make sure what I did really is permissible.
    Addendum: Britax specifically allows a rear center LATCH installation using the outboard anchors for its non-ClickTight convertible seats (if the vehicle manufacturer allows it): http://www.britaxusa.com/support/faq/installation-questions. However, I've been unable to find anything as definitive from either of the manufacturers of the car seats I own.
  • Unless explicitly approved by the vehicle manufacturer, the default is that it's not approved, not tested, and not recommended by any car seat manufacturer. Just use the belt install - it's really not that bad. Many cars actually have a rigid metal bar between the latch anchors. The two inboard anchors probably don't have this to strengthen the system.
  • Check out car-seat.org - lots of certified car seat techs there that will answer these sort of questions. I'm sure this has been discussed many many times before.
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