2015 Acura TLX: Easy Child Seat Installation
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on December 18, 2015
Over the weekend I had my first experience installing a child seat in our 2015 Acura TLX. The process is fairly straightforward. Still, there are variables between cars that can make a parent's life considerably easier or not. So I was pleased to see how simple Acura makes things in the TLX. This is why it's so good:
Interior proportions are typically my biggest source of frustration. I can fit the seat into most SUVs without a struggle because I have room to wiggle, while sedan dimensions are almost guaranteed to leave me angry. But the rear doors in the TLX open fully and the shape of the door allows my torso enough room while I negotiate with the seat.
Convenience is important to me when it comes to this topic and little things really make a difference. The headrest is one example. Its removal requires only pushing the button on the right and pulling it out. Easy. Others recess the button so far it pinches my fingertip to depress. Still others require a tool be inserted in the post in addition to pressing a button.
Also, there is a separate compartment beneath the trunk load floor that's a perfect fit for the removed headrests. This beats it flopping around with other trunk junk as well as the tuck-it-in-the seatback-pocket alternative.
The upper LATCH tether is another example of a small touch that matters. Some OEMs opt for a cover that pops off, to be stored (lost) elsewhere. This one is hinged and stays in place.
With the seat installed, legroom for both the rugrat and the front passenger is limited. This is on par with other sedans of the Acura's size.
If there's one area of kid seat-friendliness where the TLX falls short, it's with rear-facing seats. For starters, the hump prevents using the center position at all. And that's considered the safest place for the seat to go.
The lower LATCH tethers look pretty, tucked nicely away behind the leather of the seat. But they are a real challenge to access. Just holding the flap open to take this photo my fingers cramped up. On a scale of good/average/poor , I would rate their accessibility as poor.
The TLX is not alone in offering some of the features I highlighted here but it does a great job of incorporating them together. For that reason, I have to rank it as one of the most forward-facing child-seat friendly sedans we've ever had in the long-term fleet.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager