Subaru Forester: How does child car seat fit in?

We are family of four. Actually we got very happy news some days ago as we got our fourth family member. Newborn babies are just so cute!

We got already one Cubex Aton baby car seat for the little one but I decided to buy new one on the next day after the child born. So I headed to specialty shop and found Nuva Arra.

That model seemed to fit my purposes very well. Child seat has multiple positions to choose from. E.g. on longer trips it is possible to adjust to sleeping position to provide more comfort. Then there is more upright position and one between these two positions. So you can adjust the car seat angle very easily.

Nuna Arra is also lightweight compared to the most other child car seat competitors. It has also very airy cushions that actually breaths well and so helps to keep child comfortable.

Safety is on top of the list but then also comfort for the infant is important factor too. No one is happy in the car if kids does not travel comfortable.

Sure there is many other brands available but Nuna seems to be one of the good option which combines safety, comfort and quality materials on cushions.

How does the child seat fit to the Subaru Forester

Infant child car seat with the Isofix base station combined to sleeping position requires a lot of room. So much that I needed to put newborn’s seat to the passenger’s side. And switched our older child’s seat to driver’s side.

In our case it was fine because those arrangement mentioned above. I am almost 180 cm tall. Otherwise driver’s legroom would be sacrificed a bit. And if I would use only upright position in the child car seat, then it would go on both sides. But I wanted to make sure, I can use all modes of the Nuva Arra car seat.

Forester is very big and roomy car. Known to be a practical companion for the families. If infant car seat does have this so called “sleeping position”, keep in mind that it might not go behind the driver’s seat.

Although many cars do not have this generous space available in the first place. Even without child seats some other models might be bit tight on space.

So after ensuring that there is enough room on the passenger side and adjusting child car seat position to correct place, I then tried how much there is space on front seat for an adult. And there was enough space, even for longer trips.

At least as for passenger as tall I am. It was almost enough also on driver’s side but it was just easier to put docking station and the seat to other side.

Our existing car seat for the older child is Britax Römer. That seat has Isofix attachment system but is a front facing seat, i.e. convertible car seat.

Forester is equipped now with two child seats!

How about three car seats?

We have two kids as mentioned but I bought a new seat for the infant and still kept the old baby car seat. So for the testing purposes I tried to install them all.

Infant car seats to window places and front facing car seat to the middle position.

Quickly I noticed that this is a no go. Two base stations takes way too much room and then trying to fit convertible car seat to the middle position was just too much.

I spotted one article on the internet stating that Forester takes three car seats on the second row. Maybe if there would be only a booster on the middle spot, then it might probably work.

In my case I didn’t manage to install three seats, so it heavily depends how big car seats you are trying to install.

Installing car seat

One thing you may not notice earlier when considering a new car for your family is that how wide (or narrow) doors does open. Notice that Forester doors opens almost 90 degrees. This is a major benefit when carrying big and heavy items inside the car.

Also opening shape is somewhat boxy that helps to install car seats without damaging your car or car seat. Or yourself. That can happen too.


Subaru has equipped unremovable leather covers for the Isofix attachment points. Maybe not the best looking solution but major benefit is that you cannot lose these covers.

In my previous cars, I usually removed covers and then put those covers somewhere in the carage. After some years it was almost impossible to find those.

Isofix system is very easy to use and very easy to install car seat in place securely. This is something that you would expect to happen in every car, right?

We have experiences also of MY17 Toyota Auris and there Isofix system is not the easiest possible to use. So don’t take that granted that it works in every car. But as said, Subaru has made things right here.

Subaru Forester has also top tethering anchor points, which might be useful to use if child car seat supports that feature.

What about adult to middle place on second row?

When carrying newborn baby, it is a good idea to have adult on the back seat too. What ever assistance baby might need, adult can then offer help. Maybe sun is shining from a wrong direction or newborn needs a blanket or there is one blanket too much.

Forester is now equipped already with two child car seat! Only the middle place on second row is available. Let’s try adult to sit there!

Adult fits to the middle place but comfort is sacrificed. It seems to work on shorter distances better. For a temporary usage. Middle place is usually meant for shorter trips anyways. This applies virtually to all cars in SUV segment.

For longer trips front seat is better place for adult and even smaller kids do fine alone in the back. Especially if there is older sister with baby.


Car seats was easy to install to the car, Isofix attachment anchors found easily and they were easy to use. There is also generously cabin space available to all passengers.

To answer my title question how does the child seat fit in to Subaru Forester. Two car seats fits extremely well. Three seats most likely not. Or at least you will need to test it carefully.

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