Clarty New Reader
Aug. 1, 2010 9:33 p.m.

Our first baby is due in three weeks, but she might show up early, given Mrs. Clarty's last doctor visit. I need some friendly advice on nailing down the car seat.

Can a L.A.T.Ch. seat be installed in the center of the back seat in a 2003 Passat sedan? I had always heard the rear center position is the preferred place for a single car seat, but the 8,000 page Passat owner's disclaimer seems to indicate (but doesn't say conclusively) that the L.A.T.Ch. anchors are for the outboard seating positions.

Can I put the baby seat in the center using the L.A.T.Ch. thingies? We have the Chicco Keyfit baby seat.

Thanks alot!

pigeon HalfDork
Aug. 1, 2010 9:50 p.m.

I don't know definitively but the easy answer is to go look at the back seat - there's little symbols on all seats where the LATCH connectors are located. If for some reason you don't see any symbols you can feel into the seat back/cushion junction for the anchors. FWIW I don't recall ever seeing center seat LATCH connectors. If I had to choose center without LATCH and outboard with LATCH it's LATCH every time - so easy to anchor the seat properly. Sure, center is safer due to being further from the doors, but there's so much seat between the baby and door that I never worried about it with my kids.

Clarty New Reader
Aug. 1, 2010 10:24 p.m.

In reply to pigeon:

Thanks. I looked, even pulled the seat bottom out, but it's hard to figure anything out in a black interior at 10 p.m. I did feel, and there are only two sets of L.A.T.Ch. anchors--outboard.

There's a Chrysler dealership in town that does baby seat inspections, so I may give them a call and swing by there after work tomorrow.

How is it possible, for a guy who, while not a mechanic, can do some things, yet cannot install in infant seat?!

I do know, the baby seat does not fit in the MG Midget, and that is sad.

I'm sure the outboard spot with a L.A.T.Ch. anchor is a lot safer than how we grew up: rattling around unbelted in the back of the '67 Galaxie!

neon4891 SuperDork
Aug. 1, 2010 10:29 p.m.

What size baby seat fits in the back of a 911?

pigeon HalfDork
Aug. 1, 2010 11:01 p.m.
Clarty wrote: In reply to pigeon: How is it possible, for a guy who, while not a mechanic, can do some things, yet cannot install in infant seat?!

They are MUCH easier to install with LATCH than before - I had one kid pre-LATCH and one after so I do know. Installing is easy - put seat base into car facing the right way, adjust underneath with rolled towels as necessary to get the angle right. Buckle the LATCH strap to the anchors at both ends. Sit or kneel full body weight onto the seat base. Pull the adjusting end of the strap as tight as possible. Get off seat, see if it moves. If so, get back on and pull harder.

Trust me - this is one of the few baby things where there's instructions. BTW, congrats and good luck. Bank some sleep now, you'll need it soon!

triumph5 Reader
Aug. 1, 2010 11:05 p.m.
neon4891 wrote: What size baby seat fits in the back of a 911?

Betcha' Recaro has "an answer."

nderwater Reader
Aug. 2, 2010 9:10 a.m.

There should be four latch connectors across the back seat. I've always just used the middle two for middle mounting.

Our Recaro seats take up a lot of space because of the enhanced side impact protection.. though I have seen one installed on the passenger seat of a new Porsche GT3. Mounted in my Miata, my daughter sits nearly eye level with me:

sachilles HalfDork
Aug. 2, 2010 10:33 a.m.

same here. I just use the two center most latches. I believe they became required in cars from 2002 on. I actually retrofited my older subaru with latches from a new subie. What you might encounter as a problem is when hook up in the middle the strap on the seat base may be a real tight fit(which is a good thing), requiring a few more minutes to fit in place.

Woody SuperDork
Aug. 2, 2010 10:39 a.m.
triumph5 wrote:
neon4891 wrote: What size baby seat fits in the back of a 911?

Betcha' Recaro has "an answer."

Unfortunately, Recaro does not. We have two Recaro Young Sports. They're great seats, but they are huge (and heavy) and don't fit. This one, however, does (I think it's a Cosco):


1988RedT2 Reader
Aug. 2, 2010 11:59 a.m.

Yeah, I don't see why using the center two anchors wouldn't work, unless the middle of the rear seat has a funny hump in it or something.

I think I used to have my older son in the middle of some vehicle or other, but that didn't happen after the appearance of son #2.

Strizzo SuperDork
Aug. 2, 2010 2:41 p.m.

Interesting, my mazda3 had sets for center and outboard seats. Even though I don't have any little ones, I have had a 2, 4 and 5 yr old in the back when ferrying the exs nieces and sister around for a day. Only required two seats but they did fit although they were very cozy. Not recommended for long trips.

Clarty New Reader
Aug. 2, 2010 4:44 p.m.

Thanks for all the great replies! I love the car seat in the 911!

Mrs. Clarty and I went to the Chrysler dealership and the lady there helped us figure it out. Since the Passat has a bit of a hump in the center of the rear seat bench, the car seat wobbled too much in that spot, and we attached it with the L.A.T.Ch. anchors on the right side.

I was tempted to use the two center L.A.T.Ch. anchors, but did some research on that and found it was strongly discouraged because the width between the anchors is incorrect and the anchors aren't made to withstand the possible lateral loads a crash could put on them.

Thanks again!

Woody SuperDork
Aug. 2, 2010 5:53 p.m.

My WRX has latch anchors for the two outer positions, but three anchors for the top tether. My daughter's Recaro Young Sport is mounted in the center.

More space for side impact intrusion, plus more baby legroom, which is a factor around eighteen months with a small car.

Johnboyjjb New Reader
Aug. 2, 2010 6:19 p.m.

The majority of car seats are installed improperly. Call up your local fire department and see if they have someone who does installation specifically. Ours was free and certainly done right. And, the female firefighter certainly was eye candy.

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