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Can I fit three child car seats in my car?

Child car seats in seven-seat MPVs

By Lisa Galliers

Article 5 of 5

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Large cars were once the family workhorse - and if you could buy a large estate, it was the best there was. Can you fit your family in? We find out.

Seven-seat MPVs

Large MPVs are the most popular choice for families. We've investigated popular models from Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall, Toyota and more to find out just how suitable these cars are when it comes to fitting in a number of child car seats.

We found a few surprises, including the top-selling model that's not suitable for carrying a newborn baby in the front seat because you can't disable the airbag, and another that doesn't have top-tether points for use with Isofix seats. 

In our guide below, we reveal how easy it is to get three car seats to fit, how suitable each position in the car is and any issues we uncovered. We also give a rating for each car-seat installation option (Isofix, top tether and seatbelt), to help you choose which type of car seat to go for. 

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Chevrolet Orlando

The Orlando is Chevrolet’s first MPV for some time, so we were keen to find out how well suited it was to carrying families.

Chevrolet Orlando summary

  • Number of seats: 7    
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix mounts: 2

Citroën Berlingo Multispace

The Berlingo is Citroën's van-based, budget MPV. We test how well its utilitarian interior suits carrying family members.

Citroën Berlingo Multispace

  • Number of seats: 7  
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix mounts: 3

Ford Grand C-Max

When Ford launched the original C-Max, it was hard to see much difference from a slightly expanded Focus estate. But the latest Grand C-Max shows a real difference, with an optional third row of seats and more space all round.

Ford Grand C-Max summary

  • Number of seats: 7  
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix seat mounts: 3

Mazda 5

The Mazda 5 has unusual styling for an MPV, but we test it out here for practicality when carrying a family.

Mazda 5 summary

  • Number of seats: 7    
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix mounts: 2

Peugeot 807

The Peugeot 807 is truly a full-sized MPV, and this shows in the ratings it got in this test. It's capable of carrying six children.

Peugeot 807 summary

  • Number of seats: 7    
  • Number of children: 6 
  • Number of pairs of Isofix mounts: 2 

Peugeot 5008

The 5008 is Peugeot’s latest compact MPV, and it can carry six children.

Peugeot 5008 summary

  • Number of seats: 7    
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix mounts: 3

Renault Grand Scénic

When we road-tested Renault's stalwart Grand Scénic, we found high levels of safety, lots of comfort and great practicality. Here we assess how well it accommodates six children.

Renault Grand Scénic summary

  • Number of seats: 7    
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix mounts: 3

Toyota Verso

The Toyota Verso competes head to head with Renault’s Grand Scénic and the Vauxhall Zafira. We see what happens if you fill it with its full quota of children.

Toyota Verso summary

  • Number of seats: 7    
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix mounts: 2

Vauxhall Zafira

The Vauxhall Zafira has been hugely successful since its original 1999 launch, thanks to its adaptable seven-seat layout. But is it as child-friendly as it's claimed to be? For this study, we assessed the car in 2010, although a new model was launched in early 2012, which has different features.

Vauxhall Zafira summary

  • Number of seats: 7     
  • Number of children: 4/5
  • Number of pairs of Isofix seat mounts: 2

Volkswagen Touran

The VW Touran rivals the Renault Grand Scénic and Vauxhall Zafira, although it is pricier new. We see how well it copes with six children.

VW Touran summary

  • Number of seats: 7    
  • Number of children: 6
  • Number of pairs of Isofix seat mounts: 2
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