2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Child Safety Seat Fitment
November 19, 2014
I've written some earlier updates highlighting the family-friendly nature of our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo. Here's another supporting reason: the easy installation of child safety seats.
The main photo shows my typical setup for my two children: a Recaro booster seat and a Britax Marathon reversible child safety seat. Installing the Recaro in a car is rarely a problem, and that was true here as well. Trying out the Britax seat was also straightforward in its front-facing position.
The rear seat in the 3 Series Gran Turismo is actually quite ideal for installing safety seats. A lot of times you'll encounter sporty contouring on a luxury car's rear seat cushions, which can give occupants better lower lateral support, but it makes it harder to get a proper fit with a safety seat's base. Considering the 3 GT's flat seat bottoms, it almost seems like BMW's designers had safety seats as the priority. The angle of the seatback is also well matched to my Britax seat. Finally, the Gran Turismo's LATCH anchors, located behind the black flip-up covers, are very easy to locate and use.
It was similarly trouble-free when I switched the seat around to test out the rear-facing position. (You typically use the rear-facing position for toddlers who are too big to be in an infant-style safety seat but are still too small to be forward-facing.) Rear-facing always require a lot of rear legroom, and it just so happens that rear legroom is a Gran Turismo specialty. In the photo I had both front seats positioned for me (I'm 5-foot 10-inches). Yet there were still a few inches of clearance between the front seatbacks/headrests and the safety seat.
Overall, I was very happy with how easy it was to install my safety seats in the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. If you have young children and are considering a 3 GT purchase, it's definitely a positive factor to consider.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor