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Which 2022 full-size pickup truck is the best for child car seats?

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Since trucks are often doubling as family haulers in 2022, we figured we should take which full-size pickup truck is best for child car seats and boosters. So, we checked out the Cars.com Car Seat Check as well as took a peek at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety car seat LATCH ratings and compiled the data into one location.

Since there are now three trucks that get a Top Safety Pick award from IIHS, we’ve noted that as well.

Ford F-150
Cars.com rating: Mostly As
IIHS LATCH rating: Marginal
IIHS Top Safety Pick? Yes
Can it fit 3? Yes

The certified car seat installers at Cars.com call installing car seats in the redesigned Ford F-150a breeze.” The full-size truck allows for three-across car seats, and most seats and boosters get an A for installation. But the forward-facing convertible gets a B because the top tether anchors were a bit confusing. IIHS give the LATCH system marginal ratings because tether anchors could be hard to find or confused with other hardware.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Cars.com rating: As & Bs
IIHS LATCH rating: Marginal
IIHS Top Safety Pick? No
Can it fit 3? Yes

Though the Chevrolet Silverado got its last full redesign back in 2019, it did get an interior refresh for 2022 – and this means easier to access lower anchors. LATCH, rear-facing convertible and infant seats all get A grades from the Cars.com crew, but the forward-facing convertible and booster seats get a B. The forward-facing seat gets a ding for an un-intuitive top tether anchor, and the booster gets dinged for floppy buckles. Simlar to the Sierra, IIHS dings the Silverado LATCH system for hard-to-find tether anchors, other hardware that could be confused with anchors and lower anchors that are too deep in the seat.

GMC Sierra 1500
Cars.com rating: Mostly As
IIHS LATCH rating: Marginal
IIHS Top Safety Pick? No
Can it fit 3? Yes

The Cars.com crew generally give the GMC Sierra high marks for the various types of seats and boosters a family might need to place in the back of the truck. In fact, the Sierra nearly got straight As – except for that pesky B it got for a forward-facing convertible car seat. That slight ding was mostly due to the top tether setup being a tad tricky. IIHS dings the Sierra LATCH system for hard-to-find tether anchors, other hardware that could be confused with anchors and lower anchors that are too deep in the seat.

Nissan Titan
Cars.com rating: Mostly As
IIHS LATCH rating: n/a
IIHS Top Safety Pick? No
Can it fit 3? Yes

Neither IIHS nor Cars.com have looked at car seats in newer models of the Nissan Titan. However, when last Cars.com looked at the Titan in 2018, it received mostly A’s. The only ding was for the booster seat, which got a B because of floppy seat belt buckles. Though IIHS hasn’t rated the LATCH system, we do think it’s worth noting that Titan is the only full-size truck to get a poor rating from IIHS on anything – in this case it was headlights. Otherwise, the truck gets an overall Acceptable crash test rating.

Ram 1500
Cars.com rating: As & Bs
IIHS LATCH rating: Marginal
IIHS Top Safety Pick? Yes
Can it fit 3? Yes

Unfortunately, Cars.com hasn’t reviewed car seats in a Ram 1500 since 2015, which is before it was redesigned in 2019. However, at that time gave the truck A and B grades, with the big ding going against forward-facing convertible car seats. The 1500 is one of three full-size pickup trucks on IIHS’s Top Safety Pick list, yet it only gets a Marginal rating for child seat anchors. On the outboard positions, the tether anchors are hard to find, and other hardware could be confused for an anchor. But on the plus side, they aren’t too deep in the seat, and it’s easy to maneuver around the anchors.

Toyota Tundra
Cars.com rating: n/a
IIHS LATCH rating: n/a
IIHS Top Safety Pick? Yes (TSP+)
Can it fit 3? Yes

Because the Tundra is new for 2022, no one has rated it yet. We hope some things – like the solid B rating from Cars.com – will improve, and other things – like the Acceptable LATCH rating for 2021 from IIHS, will stay the same. However, considering that the new Tundra is the only full-size truck to win the coveted Top Safety Pick + award from IIHS, we’re hoping the automakers attention to detail extends to its car seat installation and LATCH system.

The bottom line on child car seats in full-size trucks

While ease of hooking in a seat is important, you have to consider the cargo you’re carrying that necessitates the need for a car seat. So, in addition to looking at the LATCH ratings, you’ve got to pay attention to the safety ratings as well. Right now, there are three trucks that get an IIHS TSP award, with only the Tundra getting the TSP+. Though it hasn’t been car-seat tested yet, we have to assume it’ll get a decent score there as well.

So, for our precious cargo, we’d look at the Toyota Tundra and the Ford F-150 as our best picks for child car seats in full-size trucks.

Editor’s note: Featured image courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales and its Buckle Up For Life partnership.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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