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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So the Ascent Limited 8 pax config has 5 LATCH anchors (see pic from auto show).

This means a car seat in either(both) outboard location(s) - but wtf is with the oddly-located 5th anchor point??

According to some Google-fu, the usage of LATCH anchors is not clear cut. If this general info is correct, we need an owner's manual before we know if the Ascent will properly accommodate 3 car seats across the bench seat ... unless we believe the SOA website which shows 3 car seats (see other pic).

Kid #3 arrives soon and I have to order either a Limited 8pax or a Touring - anyone got intel on this data point?
 

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The only thing i can think is the middle seat will share one anchor point with the driver side middle seat. I don't think you should share latch points however so i'm curious now on how this is supposed to function as well.
 

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So a few things regarding LATCH

#1 It has a weight limit most auto makers its around 60lbs max. Meaning child weight + seat weight is no more than 60lbs. No one will know if the Ascent has higher rated LATCH brackets till the published manual is released.

#2 I dont know of any vehicles wide enough for three seats across that have a third set of latch points narrow enough to properly fit a LATCH mounted seat. LATCH points on the Legacy and OB are positioned for outboard seat locations. The center position the two latch points are to widely spaced to use safely and are not to be used for center seat position. All emergency services / rescue people trained in child seat install training recommend the seat belt for several reasons.

If your asking about the LATCH setup on a vehicle not even sold yet I highly recommend you take a Child Seat install course ASAP!
 

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Not having seen the Ascent in person yet (that's next week at the auto show!), I suspect that it's set up like most SUVs wide enough for 3 across simultaneously with the outboard seats using LATCH, and the center seat using the seat-belt (notice in Subaru's pic that the center seat is a booster seat that doesn't use LATCH).

Most 3-across SUVs can't use 3 LATCH-secured seats simultaneously because the middle seat would use the inner-most LATCH anchors of the outboard seats, and it's not recommended to share LATCH anchors. As mentioned above, LATCH is only rated for 60lbs child+seat weight, so you'll have to switch to the seat belt method at some point. LATCH does make it easy to secure a child-seat correctly, but with the weight limit I just use seat belts.

I'll be sure to look for this at the auto show and report back :)
 

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That's weird setup and will likely to tilt the middle car seat on an incline toward the right (its left). Perhaps Subaru thinks it's cool for the middle child to sit side-wayz
 

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Thats what the metal belt clips are for that come with car seats. So far this thread shows how important it is to take a child seat install course.

BTW car seat belts are easier to grip and banjo tight for smaller lighter parents ie moms.

Watching a Highway Patrol officer reach into your car, grab the seat you just installed and yank it over onto its side is an eye opener.

I’ll say it again Go Take a seat install course!!
I never used Latch ever its weight limits due to both the brackets and the seat straps are not ideal. Plus center seat the brackets are spaced too far appart increasing risk of the seat twisting over in a severe accident, not to mention incorrectly installed etc.
 

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Another tip! When using the car belts to secure the kids car seat flip the clip around so the release button is facing the seat. This avoids kids climbing into seats stepping on the release button or the dog from releasing the seat belt without you being aware its been released.
 

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I've never had any issues using the Latch system on my child seats. they are secure and don't budge more than a 1" in any direction while yanking on them. When I was a first time father I took the seats to the police station to have them verify my installation. I was told I did a good job so I'm confident in my installations. They work so long as you install them correctly. having said that I've never installed a seat in the middle seat position as in the outback this is not an option. I'm still curious on how the middle anchor point works on the ascent but it doesn't appear anyone here can speak to that specifically - i assume the owner's manual will provide instruction on how to properly use and install seats in this position. It's a moot point for me since I'm going with the captains chairs which I know you have fond feelings about Subiesailor LOL.
 

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I think the point about using the seat belt in the middle is key. LATCH isn't supposed to be shared and I wouldn't do it. I used the seatbelt in the middle on our Outback (all three are in boosters now in our Ascent). I would definitely go with the limited with 8 pax with three kids. If you want to put the third row down for space, i.e. camping, where is the third kid going to sit? That's why I went with Limited with 8 pax. I wish the touring could have 2nd row bench but I think with the ventilated front seats that wasn't possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thx to all for replies.

To those who suggested a course - not the issue. The issue is that my car seats have a steel bar to connect to lower anchors - so lower anchors are kinda 'table stakes' in my world. I needed to get this right before ordering the vehicle.

@John Harrington - good timing on the reply! I ordered a Touring (7pax) and it arrived at the dealer yesterday. Will collect it after they square away some stuff. The current plan is car seat in 2nd row and 3rd row with infant seat also in 2nd row. When they are all old enuf for boosters I'll upgrade the OB to an Ascent with 2nd row bench ... and cloth seats :D
 

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So the Ascent Limited 8 pax config has 5 LATCH anchors (see pic from auto show).

This means a car seat in either(both) outboard location(s) - but wtf is with the oddly-located 5th anchor point??

According to some Google-fu, the usage of LATCH anchors is not clear cut. If this general info is correct, we need an owner's manual before we know if the Ascent will properly accommodate 3 car seats across the bench seat ... unless we believe the SOA website which shows 3 car seats (see other pic).

Kid #3 arrives soon and I have to order either a Limited 8pax or a Touring - anyone got intel on this data point?
I just bought one. Here is the section from the owners manual on the second row latch system. Hope this helps.
 

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That odd 5th anchor point can be used with the one next to it to have 2 infant/toddler seats next to each other, one in the middle and one behind the passenger seat. I just did this with my 2 car seats. It leaves the space behind the driver empty, perhaps so the driver can slide the seat back if they are a tall person. My child car seats are huge and hit the back of the driver's seat if it is directly behind. Thankfully (the rare instances where it is an actually an advantage) we are not tall people, so it is OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So the Ascent Limited 8 pax config has 5 LATCH anchors (see pic from auto show).

This means a car seat in either(both) outboard location(s) - but wtf is with the oddly-located 5th anchor point??

According to some Google-fu, the usage of LATCH anchors is not clear cut. If this general info is correct, we need an owner's manual before we know if the Ascent will properly accommodate 3 car seats across the bench seat ... unless we believe the SOA website which shows 3 car seats (see other pic).

Kid #3 arrives soon and I have to order either a Limited 8pax or a Touring - anyone got intel on this data point?
I just bought one. Here is the section from the owners manual on the second row latch system. Hope this helps.
Thanks!
 

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Went to our dealer to test fit the two seats. Both were secured with latch system. Plenty of room in second row for me or my (pregnant at the time) wife behind driver seat? Driver and passenger seats were also adjusted comfortably for me (6'1").
 

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Car seat pretty much limit all access to the third row without removing them first and re-installing. For that many youngsters, I would think a minivan might be the best choice. I know they are not off road vehicles, but much more versatile.
 

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Car seat pretty much limit all access to the third row without removing them first and re-installing.
Correct, my though for when we have extra riders such as the in laws is me climbing through rear with half of third row down. When our oldest is forward facing, we can rearrange the seats t accommodate easier this row access.
 

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Car seat pretty much limit all access to the third row without removing them first and re-installing.
A friend of mine has an older Pilot with three car seats in the middle row. If we need to put someone in the third row, they climb in through the rear hatch, then lift the third row seat up themselves...not awesome, but it works. The biggest downside is they have no exit until someone opens the back hatch for them.
 

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Went to our dealer to test fit the two seats. Both were secured with latch system. Plenty of room in second row for me or my (pregnant at the time) wife behind driver seat? Driver and passenger seats were also adjusted comfortably for me (6'1").
For what it's worth, the manual says not to sit in the 2nd row with 2 other child car seats. Not sure why.
 

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For what it's worth, the manual says not to sit in the 2nd row with 2 other child car seats. Not sure why.
So two things. Children left ie forgotten in hot cars is a thing auto makers are trying to help prevent. Subaru is taking a passive approach by encouraging opposite side seat location from the driver, increasing the chances of seeing and not forgetting the child. The suggestion of not having an adult share 2nd row with two kids seats is simple. Kids seats are hard rigid objects, in a side impact the adult will suffer injuries from hitting the car seats. Your sides are tender areas getting bounced off a hard car seat hip, ribs etc will really hurt.
 

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Went to our dealer to test fit the two seats. Both were secured with latch system. Plenty of room in second row for me or my (pregnant at the time) wife behind driver seat? Driver and passenger seats were also adjusted comfortably for me (6'1").
Did you find that you were able to pull the empty seat forwards (or put it down) enough to get in the back with two RF seats installed like that?
 
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