2012 Toyota Camry: Child Safety Seat Fitment Test
April 16, 2012
After the underwhelming results from testing child safety seat fitments in our Ford Explorer a few weeks ago, I figured I'd try out our Camry next. After all, it is a family sedan.
Toyota versus Britax, read on.
As usual, there's not much to report about the Recaro booster seat pictured above. It fits fine, although I quickly realized that our Camry's rear head restraints are fixed and not removable. That means the booster seat isn't flush with the seat back. Not a huge deal, though it's more noticeable with a front-facing child seat.
Here's a Britax Marathon seat, which can be installed either front facing or rear facing. Normally with a front-facing seat, I really do like to get the seat flush up with the car's seatback so I can really tighten down the LATCH anchor straps. That almost always means removing the head restraints. Can't do that here.
Detail shot of the head restraint.
Things get better with the seat in the rear-facing position, which is kind of funny because often it's the opposite for a lot of cars. Really, no problems here. There's enough rear legroom that I doubt many people would have a problem with a child seat interfering with the comfort of the front passengers. I'm 5-10, and the driver seat is positioned for me. There's still about 4 or 5 inches of clearance.
The Camry SE's LATCH points are pretty easy to get to and snap in the safety seat's anchors. As with most sedans, there are only LATCH points for the outboard positions. The owner's manual does not make any mention of using LATCH for the center position, so for the middle any safety seat would need to be secured with the seatbelt.
I also installed a Britax Companion reverse-facing infant seat. Since fitment is pretty similar to the Marathon seat, there weren't any problems.
Overall, it seems like the Camry should work out well for families with small children. Of course, just about any midsize family sedan these days will work out fine, but it's interesting to see how little details (like the Camry's fixed head restraints) still crop up to make it a little tricky.
Safety seats in use!
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,250 miles