2014 BMW i3: Here's a Rear-Facing Car Seat That Really Fits Well
March 9, 2015
As we've written in our full road test and in our "A" rating on the 2014 BMW i3, this electric hatchback has more interior space than you imagine when you first walk up to it. The headroom is striking when you're in the driver seat. Yet, there's a surprising amount of legroom as well, and that's what really matters when you're installing rear-facing convertible car seats.
Because convertible car seats vary so much in shape and dimensions, you have to keep auditioning them until you find one that's a good match for your vehicle's backseat and your child. In this instance, I found that my second-string convertible car seat, a Safety 1st Guide 65, fit exceptionally well in the back of our long-term BMW i3. Not only is it a good match for our extended-range EV's interior dimensions, it conforms well to the shape of the BMW's seat-bottom cushion.
Although you can see that I used a pool noodle to get the desired angle for a rear-facing installation, it was much, much easier to achieve this angle than in any other car I've installed this Safety 1st car seat in to date. The LATCH anchors are easily accessible after you flip open the hinged plastic covers, and even with my car seat's rudimentary J-hook connectors, getting it hooked up was no problem.
What I really liked about the fit, though, was the ease of getting the car seat tightened down. Usually, there's a lot more trial and error involved when I'm installing a seat in a car for the very first time. But due to the shape and cushiony-ness of the i3's backseat, I got the Safety 1st seat snugged down to my satisfaction in a couple of minutes.
If I owned a BMW i3, this would probably be my convertible car seat of choice. I've mentioned before that I don't love the cushioning in this car seat (which retails for less than $100 and isn't exactly plush) and would hesitate to use it for long road trips. But that's OK in the i3, which isn't really intended for long-duration travel.
Life is just about as agreeable in the front passenger seat with this car seat installed. I might move the seat a notch or two farther back if there wasn't a rear-facing car seat behind it, but really, the legroom is adequate and the seat-back recline angle is livable. And my knees are quite a few inches from touching the dash (please ignore the stripey green socks if you can).
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 2,804 miles