Best cars for 3 child seats with 3 Isofix points
It’s one of the most asked questions by parents – what cars can fit three child seats in a row?
Life comes at you fast. One minute, you’re zipping around in your Golf GTI, wondering how many of your mates you can fit in the back for another last minute weekend adventure. Next, you’re up to your neck in crumbs, there’s mashed banana on the steering wheel and if you have to listen to Baby Shark ONE more time…
It’s fair to say that the transition to parenthood changes the driving experience for most people, especially when you've suddenly got a tetris-like jumble of different size car seats to arrange.
It’s one of the questions we get asked most often by parents – what cars can fit three child seats in a row?
Yet unfortunately it’s a problem surprisingly few manufacturers have a solution for. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best new and used options for multiseat travel.
NB: While the models mentioned below all come with three sets of Isofix in a row, whether you can squeeze three car seats in side by side will still very much depend on their size and width so always make sure to try before you buy.
The Audi Q7 is one of the few genuinely desirable seven seat options on the market. Models from 2015 onwards come with the elusive triple Isofix in the middle row. There’s also a handy pair of extra seats in the back but like all seven-seat SUVs, they’re not the most spacious and probably best left to occasional use. With the middle row full, you’ll likely need to fold them flat for extra bootspace to carry all the bits three child seat age kids come with. Unfortunately it’s one of the pricier options, but definitely worth the premium for its first class cabin and excellent choice of powerful and efficient engines. You can search for an Audi Q7 here.
Citroen C4 Picasso / C4 Grand Picasso/ C4 Spacetourer / C4 Grand Spacetourer / Spacetourer
If there’s one thing Citroen do well it’s a people carrier. The C4 Picasso might not be the most sporty looking wagon out there but it is certainly one of the most practical and best value options in this market. Three individual seats in the back row mean you should get three average sized car seats in there without too much bother and there’s a decent size boot of more than 500 litres. The slightly longer Grand Picasso has an extra two seats in the back instead which can be folded down, but still leave room for a bit of luggage when in use. Models from 2017 onwards dropped the Picasso badge for C4 Spacetourer and C4 Grand Spacetourer.
The Spacetourer is the largest of the lot with a total of nine seats thanks to its vanlike shape and capacity. There are three Isofix points in the second row of seats, with three full size seats behind them while still offering a very generous boot. An ideal choice for large growing families and now available in a fully electric version.
Ford S-Max / Ford Galaxy
Ford have two hugely popular MPVs that pass the three-Isofix-in-one-row test. The stylish S-Max offers comfortable seating for five adults with two extra foldable compact seats in the back. The Galaxy offers similar but with a longer wheelbase and more headroom. There’s not much between them in bootspace with the rear seats up, although the Galaxy does offer almost 300 litres more room when they’re down. The S-Max arguable has a sportier look and drive but ultimately it will come down to personal preference. You can browse some great value S-Max and Galaxy models here and here.
Peugeot 5008 / Rifter
The Peugeot 5008 started life as an MPV, perfect for families thanks to its three individual rear seats and handy extra row in the back. Several great value editions of this model can be found on the used market here. Its reincarnation as an SUV in 2017 saw its appeal widen even further as it now combines practicality with a sleek and trendy new crossover design. One of very few SUVs to fit three car seats in one row, it still has a very generous boot with the back row down. With several thoughtful extras like foldable laptrays and built in sun-visors – the Peugeot 5008 is one of the most practical family cars on the market. You can watch our latest video review here.
The Peugeot Rifter might not be as trendy as the 5008 with its vanlike shape, but as seven seaters go – it’s one of the most spacious on the market. Not only will you fit three car seats in one row, you’ll also have space for two more full size adults behind them. These can be stowed away or removed completely if you’d like to use the room for storage instead, or go for the five seat model which still comes with an enormous boot as standard. The sliding doors are also a great feature to help prevent dings in the car park. Second hand Rifters start from just €23,000. You can browse them here.
Renault Scenic / Grand Scenic
The Scenic badge is another one synonymous with the business of people-carrying and has been around for quite a while. Renault’s original MPV has three individually adjustable seats in the back although width and rear legroom are not quite as impressive as some of the other models mentioned here. As always it’s best to bring your car seats along on a test drive and check that it meets your requirements. The larger Grand Scenic offers an extra two seats in the back and three Isofix anchors in the second row. Only standard Scenics from 2009 - 2016 have three Isofix fittings in the rear. The five seat Scenic lost this feature in 2017 when both models got a dramatic makeoever in terms of styling and practicality with 20 inch alloy wheels as standard and a fancy new electronic seat folding mechanism. You can browse all generations of Scenic here.
The SEAT Alhambra is one of the great overlooked gems in this market. Built on the same underpinnings as the popular Volkswagen Sharan, the SEAT offers just as much practicality for a fraction of the price. The middle row gets individual seating with Isofix, and the back row is roomier than most competitors. The sliding doors are the real party piece however, reducing the risk of dings in the carpark (plus most kids just love the novelty of them). Some models even come with integrated child booster seats. If you can resist the lure of an SUV, this is one of the most practical people carriers out there. Models from 2011 are considerably easier on the eye if your budget allows it. You can browse all generations of Alhambra here.
Volkswagen Sharan / Touran
We might slightly favour the Alhambra but there are many for whom only that VW badge will do and the Sharan is an equally fine example of family-friendly motoring. It shares the same handy sliding doors as its SEAT counterpart and comes with a slightly more premium feeling finish. The Touran is a more compact (and arguably more stylish) seven seater from Volkswagen which is another solid choice if you can live without the sliding doors and slightly less headroom. You can find great value examples of both the Sharan and Touran here and here.