Rear Facing Child Safety Seat Install - 2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS: Rear Facing Child Safety Seat Install

July 22, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

I think it's pretty safe to assume that if you've got small children to drive around frequently, you're probably not going to lust over a 2013 Cadillac ATS as your daily driver. But I recently had a father of one of my friends ask me what I thought of the ATS, as his wife is interested in replacing her older CTS with one. They're grandparents to five young kids. So it's not entirely out of the question that potential owners could be putting an ATS to use as at least an occasional kid taxi.

The ATS does have one of the smaller backseats in its class. While booster seats or front-facing child safety seats are rarely a problem for any car, sometimes installing a rear-facing safety seat can be tricky because of interference from the car's front seats. So out of curiosity, I installed a Britax Marathon child safety seat in its rear-facing position to see how it fit in our ATS.

There is enough rear legroom here to make a rear-facing safety seat feasible. At least with this Britax safety seat, however, the instructions ask you to install it so that its base is level with the ground. Here I ran into a bit more difficulty.

The ATS's seat cushion is contoured and has a noticeable downward angle to it, so I needed to use some folded up towels to boost the seat's base back up close to level. I was able to keep the front passenger seat positioned so that a normal-sized adult would be OK sitting there, though not necessarily for long distances.

Thinking back, that's about what it was like with another entry-level luxury sedan we tested a couple of years ago, the Volvo S60. Both have a rear seat legroom measurement of 33.5 inches, coincidentally.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 10,949 miles


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Level with the ground? If you are installing this in a farm wagon or maybe a school bus, then maybe that's possible, but all car seats are raised at the front edge and have a butt pocket in them. I've noted before that these kid carseat makers are on some kind of bad drugs.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    So much for wondering why Volvo is struggling. Cadillac doesn't need to target families with their entry level sedan. Families are not their #1 audience. But Volvo had been an automaker of choice for families with young children. Yet their mainstream sedan, the S60, doesn't comfortably accommodate a rear-facing seat. Funny that it would be a safety regulation that made Volvo sedans less appealing to families.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    "I think it's pretty safe to assume that if you've got small children to drive around frequently, you're probably not going to lust over a 2013 Cadillac ATS as your daily driver." Why not? It has a back seat and 4 doors, so that's a big upgrade over what I currently have. I don't subscribe to the silly fallacy that you need the biggest Suburbedition XL to fit your family after you have a kid or two. It isn't a surprise that a midsize sedan works more than fine.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    stovt001, a midsize sedan, yes. An ATS, no. See how any midsize sedan (Fusion, Camry, Accord, Passat, etc.) swallows a rear facing car seat. It will look nothing like the ATS picture we see here.

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