Carseats for Small Cars

Parent Q&A

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  • Hello!  Would love some recommendations for convertible car seats that fit small cars.  Thank you!

    Try Safety 1st Air. Very narrow. Can fit three across forwarding facing in some cars. Personally, I think they are very hard to install though especially backward facing. I saw that a few safety first models were recalled so might want to double check. 

    I'm not sure how you define small.  For reference, we have an old Toyota Corolla which is relatively narrow by today's standards.  I like our Britax Essentials seat.  We use it alongside a Chicco KetFitNext which I would probably not buy again because it is huge (even though I loved the KeyFit30 infant seat).  

    For the nanny's car we have a Cosco seat (a brand...not Costco the wholesale store). It is narrow and lightweight making it easy to carry around an airport when flying (not that we're doing much of it these days...)

    If your main concern is not losing front seat legroom (which was my concern), I’m really happy with the Nuna Rava after doing a lot of research into something safe that wouldn’t be a legroom hog.

    We loved the Diono Radian. Super pricey but WORTH it. I might even have an extra one to sell... Since our two littles are FINALLY OUT of CAR SEATS!!! Hallelujah!!!

    (I need to check our pile of stuff-to-sell that we have stored in our garage... So much kid stuff! Contact me if you need one.)


    Clek fllo is very narrow and comfortable. Clek foonf is the higher price model and should have the same footprint. 

    Agree with the Nuna Rava recommendation. It was pricey but a lot cheaper than buying a new car. More passenger seat leg room than we had with the infant car seat. Bought it at Tot Tank in Alameda which also does free professional installations. 

  • Removable car seat?

    Mar 22, 2019

    I have a small car  (Toyota Yaris) that I use to transport people and stuff like bicycles, big boxes, and so forth.

    I'm expecting a new grandchild and I would like to buy a car seat that I can remove completely so I can fold down the back seats and fill up with cargo.

    Any suggestions?

    Most car seats seem pretty similar these days. The infant ones can usually be installed with the seatbelt or with a base that stays in your car, and are designed to be removed every time so they can also be used with a stroller base. The convertible ones, some of which are designed to accommodate infants as well, are generally more bulky and harder to install and remove. One of the easiest convertible carseats to install, and one of the safest, is the Nuna Rava, which also happens to be smaller and thus fits in most cars. Uppababy is coming out with it's first convertible car seat this summer, and it looks really similar to the Rava. We have the Rava in a Toyota Pruis behind the passenger seat, and my husband uninstalls it every time his tall friends ride in the car, and it's not a big deal to uninstall and reinstall it. If you want professional help, you could go to Tot Tank in Alameda and they will help you fit a seat for your particular car and needs, and the staff know all the details about everything they sell. 

    Pretty much all car seats are removable. Just look for one at any baby store or big box store (target etc) and find one in your budget.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

General Information

May 2005

Theres a growing database on which car seats fit your car... go check here - and while you're at it, add your experience to help the next parents!! new mom

We just had a similar situation to deal with and ended up getting the Britax Roundabout. We put it behind the passenger seat in a 2 door VW Fox. It required that we pull the seat all the way forward. When I got in the passenger seat, my knees touched the dashboard (I'm 5'4'') and my husband couldn't sit in the passenger seat. It was very difficult to get the baby in and out of the car, but we made it work for a while. It was irritating enough though that we ended up buying a new car. Wendy
Try this site: They have useful info about carseats and compatibility with different cars. Good luck! Cristina
I read somewhere that the stores have to let you take the carseats out to your car to try to fit it before any purchase. I'd recommend this. I have a Britax Roundabout, which is slightly smaller than the Marathon, but it's really big! I happen to love it and feel really safe with my son in it, but it's big! IT's super easy to install, but it's big! Get my drift. I'd really recommend going to a store, like Babies R Us or anywhere with car seats and trying them in your car. Then you can try to purchase it online. I found that Babies R Us had a sale and I couldn't beat the price online, so I bought the seat there. Jodi