Center Child Seat Top Tether - 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Long-Term Road Test
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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Long Term Road Test

2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Center Child Seat Top Tether

October 28, 2011

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Those of you that are parents might remember the post I put up earlier this year regarding the Suzuki Kizashi's center-mounted top tether. Well, the TSX has one also. It's in the roof at the back of the car near the hatch.

Until now, I've walways wondered what this is for. But the Acura's manual explains it clearly.

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My confusion stems from the fact that Feds mandate 280mm between the LATCH anchors. Accordingly, the TSX has a total of four anchors -- two on either side spaced at the mandated width. However, there's only four, not six. This car is designed to accommodate two LATCH-mounted child seats, not three. So the distance between the two center anchors is about 394 mm.

So what's the center top tether for?

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Turns out, there are child seats which mount using the seat belt and have a top tether. I've never seen one, but I suppose some of you have.

Here's the thing: if there's only one child to carry, I prefer to center mount the child seat. But I've always found LATCH anchors far more secure than seatbelts. And I've easily secured LATCH-mounted car seats in the wider-than-standard position and been able to exceed the minimum seat-movement requirements discussed by the authorities. Heck, if you want to get neurotic you can use the LATCH anchors and the seatbelt in the center position. And in the TSX Sport Wagon, you can have a top tether as well.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor


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