Best cars for three child seats

Finding a car large enough for three child seats is harder than you think. We've picked eight great choices, including an electric supermini

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jul 25, 2022

If you’ve ever had to squeeze a child seat into a car, you’ll know that it’s not always plain sailing. It’s even more challenging if you need to fit three child seats into a family car - made worse by the fact that child seats seem to get bigger year by year.

Isofix points - which allow you to securely mount a child seat - certainly help. They’re built into the car’s structure to provide the best safety for your child. Although you will find Isofix points in most cars sold since 2006, they’ve been mandatory on all new cars sold in Europe since 2014. Not only do they provide improved safety, but they'll also make it clear if the child seat has been fitted incorrectly. Not all cars have as many Isofix points as others, though, or as much space to fit the child seats to them.

If you have three children that require a child seat, you’re going to want at least three sets of Isofix points in your new car. You also need to factor in a large boot, storage in the cabin for your odds and ends, plus doors that open wide enough to allow you to get a child into one of the seats. Maybe a few headache tablets, too, to cope with the constant cries of ‘are we nearly there yet?' coming from behind you.

Don't be fooled into thinking you'll need an enormous or expensive car to secure enough Isofix points and sufficient space for child seats, though, there are plenty of smaller and affordable options that will fit the bill, as the cars below prove. 

Best cars for three car seats

1. Seat Alhambra

Our pick Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI Xcellence
Used deals from £20,600
Monthly finance from £382*

The Seat Alhambra is one of the best seven-seat family cars you can buy. It’s based on the equally practical and almost identical Volkswagen Sharan, but because the Alhambra is cheaper, the choice is something of a no brainer.

All five rear seats - across two separate rows - come with Isofix points for mounting a child seat, but the Alhambra also impresses in other areas. The three seats in the middle row slide independently, so you can move the seats closer to the driver for easy access. You also have total flexibility, whether you’re after seven, six, five, four, three or even two seats.

Best of all, the sliding rear doors make it easy for you and your children to get into the back. Opt for anything above the entry-level Alhambra and you’ll enjoy the convenience of electric sliding doors and a powered tailgate. This could be the ultimate car for large families.


2. Renault Zoe

Our pick Renault Zoe R135 GT Line
Used deals from £21,050
Monthly finance from £325*

If you fancy reducing your impact on the planet while keeping your precious cargo safe in a compact car, the Renault Zoe could be the car for you. Not only does it have a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating to its name, it also comes with three Isofix mounting points - two in the back and one in the front. Not bad for such a small car.

The Zoe was once one of the most budget-friendly electric cars in the UK, but now in its second generation prices have increased and there's a lot more competition from cars like the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e. Prices for the Zoe start at £313 per month on BuyaCar, but seek one of the latest models badged 'Z.E.50' for a 245-mile range.

Earlier models with a smaller battery offer a shorter electric range - and you have to factor in the cost of leasing the batteries with some models - but an electric car for less than £10,000 could be a huge money saver. Time to get your children used to an electric future?


3. Vauxhall Combo Life

Our pick Vauxhall Combo Life 1.2 Turbo Energy
Used deals from £14,500
Monthly finance from £255*

If you’re after flexibility from your family car, the Vauxhall Combo Life is hard to beat. It’s based on a van, so you get a huge amount of interior space, regardless of whether you choose the standard or longer XL version. You also get a choice of five or seven seats.

All models feature three separate Isofix mounting points as standard, so fitting a trio of child seats won’t be a problem. You also get a pair of sliding rear doors and more than enough headroom for your children to travel home from a fancy dress party without removing their hats.

We’d recommend choosing a model with the optional Child Pack, which comprises a rear-view child-minder mirror, rear side-window sunblinds and a fold-flat passenger seat. Seven-seat versions also get a luggage restraint net as part of the pack. If you can't find a Combo Life to suit your needs, it's worth checking out the Citroen Berlingo or Peugeot Rifter, which are almost identical underneath their skins.


4. Audi Q2

Our pick Audi Q2 30 TFSI S line
Used deals from £16,490
Monthly finance from £238*

If you’re after a small but practical crossover for the school run, the Audi Q2 is one of the best of the breed. It comes with a fashionable Audi badge on the front grille, along with a larger boot than the popular A3 hatchback and it feels very plush inside.

Although the Q2 is more expensive than some mainstream rivals - especially if you opt for one of the higher trim levels - even the entry-level model comes with air-conditioning, a seven-inch media system, digital radio, rear parking sensors, cruise control and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Although you won’t be able to fit three child seats in the back, the Audi Q2 comes with Isofix mounting points for the front passenger seat, plus an airbag deactivation switch, to ensure that the child seat stays in place in the event of a crash. This means you can fit three child seats overall, making the Q2 perfect for quick trips to school and playgroup.


5. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

Our pick BMW 225xe Active Tourer M Sport
Used deals from £18,193
Monthly finance from £336*

Fancy a classy people carrier with ample space for five people and a large boot? The 2 Series Active Tourer might not be as desirable as some of the other models in the BMW range, but you’ll have the last laugh when it comes to loading baby gear into the boot and children into the rear seats.

As you’d expect from an 'MPV' - also known as a people carrier - space in the back is excellent, with enough room for three adults. This is good news if you’re hoping to put three children in the back, although only the outer seats come with Isofix points. But fear not, because you’ll also find Isofix mounts in the front.

You might be wondering if the 2 Series Active Tourer is spacious enough with three child seats in place. Well, the middle rear seat might be a little cramped with child seats fitted either side, so if you need to carry more people, you should opt for the 2 Series Gran Tourer.


6. Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra front three quarters view

Our pick Nissan Micra 1.0 DIG-T Tekna
Used deals from £8,650
Monthly finance from £172*

Launched in 2017, the current Nissan Micra is the most tech-laden and bold looking version of this popular supermini to date. It’s not the biggest car in its class, but the boot is large enough to swallow a pushchair, while your children won’t have any complaints about the space in the back until they reach their teenage years.

Crucially, you’ll find Isofix mounting points on the outer rear seats and the front passenger seat, so fitting three child seats won’t be a problem. All versions get air-conditioning to keep your little ones cool, plus a USB port for playing music to keep them amused.

We’d recommend the mid-range Acentra trim level, as this adds stylish 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and an improved media display to the mix. If parking is a problem, upgrade to the N-Sport or Tekna trims for a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.


7. Mini Countryman

Our pick Mini Countryman 1.5 Cooper S E ALL4
Used deals from £22,491
Monthly finance from £405*

Although the Mini Hatchback comes with front and rear Isofix points, it’s not really the ideal family car. The five-door version makes things a little easier, but there will come a time when you have to admit defeat and go-large. Which is where the Mini Countryman comes in.

It’s a supersize version of the Mini Hatchback, with a high driving position, enough room in the boot for a pushchair or three suitcases, and an upmarket cabin that’s loaded with neat details. It’s a family car you can buy with your head and your heart, especially if you go for the plug-in hybrid version which can return over 100mpg if you charge it regularly.

You’ll find two sets of Isofix mounting points in the back, with enough room in the middle seat for a third child who is old enough to travel without a child seat. If you need a third child seat, front passenger seat Isofix mounts are available for £100 across the Countryman range, so make sure this is fitted if you’re buying used.


8. Audi Q7

Our pick Audi Q7 3.0 TDI S line
Used deals from £27,000
Monthly finance from £476*

The Audi Q7 is huge. Properly huge. It also comes with a huge price tag, but you might be surprised to discover that used values now start at around £30,000 for the current version. This means it’s a realistic alternative to other family-friendly SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery and Volvo XC90.

Launched in 2015, the current Audi Q7 is safer and more efficient than its predecessor, with a high-quality cabin that’s a match for anything in the class. There’s seating for seven, with a generous 295 litres of luggage space available, even with all seven seats in use. That’s the same amount of space you’ll find in a supermini.

But here’s the reason why it makes our list: six Isofix mounting points. That’s right, you can fit six child seats in an Audi Q7, which makes it the ideal choice if you’re the coach of a young six-a-side football team. We take no responsibility for the racket you’ll hear when the six passenger seats are occupied. It’s just as well the Q7 comes with a decent stereo.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

Buyacar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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