Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in November 2020 about the 2020 Land Rover Defender. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. See what’s new for 2021 or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.
The verdict: The Land Rover Defender is an icon, and it’s back in the U.S. for the 2020 model year, keeping its off-roading credentials and boxy looks while adding a lot of luxury and technology to satisfy shoppers. With a roomy backseat, the Defender will be as comfortable hauling kids around as it is fording streams.
Does it fit three car seats? No, but it was so close. Parents who need to fit three kids in the backseat should look into narrow child-safety seats.
Take a look at how the Latch system and each car seat scored below in our Car Seat Check of the 2020 Land Rover Defender.
Related: Search Car Seat Checks
- Latch: The 2020 Defender’s two sets of lower Latch anchors are exposed in the outboard seats; they were easy to find and use. There are three top tether anchors on the rear seatbacks; the outboard seats’ anchors are labeled “top tether,” which we applaud, as it helps parents and caregivers see where to connect their top tether strap.
- Infant seat: The Defender’s roomy backseat means there’s plenty of room for the rear-facing infant seat, and installation of the car seat was drama-free.
- Rear-facing convertible: This car seat also fit well in the Defender; we had no installation issues.
- Forward-facing convertible: Installing the forward convertible seat went well until it came time to use the top tether anchor. While the anchors are easy to find, the anchor’s bar seems overly thick, making it tricky to get a good connection. Unhooking from the top tether anchor was also a little tough, and our installer had to move the connector around to get it off of the anchor bar.
- Booster seat: Our high-back booster seat fit well. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases, but they sit low in the seat cushion, which can make it difficult for younger kids to buckle up independently.
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: One room, fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing the third row when available.
C: Marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. Difficult to access the third row when available.
D: Insufficient room, plus multiple fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com’s Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Chicco KeyFit 30 infant-safety seat, a Graco Contender 65 convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. Learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.
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