The ISOFIX child seat anchorage system has been legal in Australia since 2014, giving parents here the benefits of the simpler installation set-up appreciated by families for years in the UK, Europe and United States (via the related LATCH system).
ISOFIX helps minimise the chances of incorrectly securing child seats, which studies have revealed to be highly common when parents have been using car seatbelt installation.
ISOFIX seats are virtually foolproof. They clip simply and quickly onto two anchor points that are rigidly mounted to the vehicle body, helping to ensure a secure fitment without the potential to twist seatbelts, not pull the seatbelts tight enough, or use the wrong belt path on certain child seats.
In other markets, this would also include avoiding potential tangles with tether straps, though Australian Design Rules stipulated that ISOFIX seats in this country must also be secured using a top-tether strap.
This has reduced the number of ISOFIX points available in vehicles imported into Australia. Many vehicles in the UK and Europe, for example, feature ISOFIX anchor points on the front passenger seat because they don’t require a top-tether attachment point on the seatback.
The vast majority of cars sold in Australia feature ISOFIX points in the outboard seats of the second row. Some vehicles are available with multiple top-tether points.
Australian parents who want to place multiple young kids in ISOFIX child seats still have several options, however. Here’s CarAdvice’s quick guide to the 10 vehicles with three or more ISOFIX points:
Audi’s big SUV for big families wins the unofficial Most ISOFIX Points In A Car award. The Q7 has five in total, covering every rear seat – the three in the middle row and the two in the third row.
Each position comes with the requisite top tether point. (Of course, accessing the rearmost seats if you have child seats in the middle-outer seats is another matter.)
The Q7 has just been updated heavily for 2020 and is priced from $101,900.
MORE: Q7 news and reviews
The X5 may be available with a third row but it misses out on both ISOFIX and top-tether points. That leaves the newer and bigger X7 as the seven-seater BMW SUV of choice for child-placing versatility.
ISOFIX points feature on the two third-row seats as well as the outboard seats of the middle row. No-one said having lots of kids was cheap, and the X7 is another six-figure SUV – with a choice currently between the $133,900 diesel 30d and $179,900 petrol M50i.
MORE: X7 news and reviews
There are several SUVs that are twinned with a dual-cab ute, though Isuzu’s MU-X – based on the D-Max – is the only one to offer more than two ISOFIX-compatible seats.
All three middle-row seats feature the anchor points.
The MU-X is priced from $43,900.
MORE: MU-X news and reviews
Australia’s favourite people-mover features three ISOFIX points out of its eight available seats. Two are found in the middle outboard seats, while one of the third-row seats is also equipped with ISOFIX anchor points.
A new-generation Carnival goes on sale in late 2020 or early 2021, though details about child-seat fitment have yet to be confirmed.
The outgoing Carnival is priced from $43,190.
Land Rover Discovery
The Discovery has been British 4WD specialist Land Rover’s most family-focused vehicle ever since its 1989 debut.
Now in its fifth generation, the seven-seater SUV can fit up to four ISOFIX child seats – with anchor points in the middle-row outboard seats and both third-row seats.
The Land Rover Discovery is priced from $73,221.
Until mid 2020, no Mercedes SUV offered more than two ISOFIX points. That changes with the brand new GLB seven-seater, which allows for the fitment of ISOFIX seats in the outboard seats of its middle row as well as both third-row seats.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB is priced from $59,900.
MORE: GLB news and reviews
There is another Mercedes option in the van-based V-Class people-mover. Its versatile, eight-seater cabin can accommodate up to four ISOFIX child seats – as with the GLB in the outer middle-row seats and two third-row seats.
The Mercedes-Benz V-Class is priced from $83,110.
MORE: V-Class news and reviews
French car maker Peugeot offers three SUVs, though only its biggest has more than two ISOFIX points. Unlike the compact 2008 and mid-sized 3008, the 5008 adds an extra set to the middle-row centre seat to allow up to three child seats. Tres bon.
The Peugeot 5008 is priced from $48,490, with a choice of petrol or diesel power.
MORE: 5008 news and reviews
The Tarago is gone, but in its place comes the Granvia – a people-mover derived from the HiAce commercial van. It’s available in either six-seater or eight-seater configurations, though either way you get four ISOFIX points with matching top-tether points. They are found in the second and third rows.
The Toyota Granvia is priced from $62,990.
MORE: Granvia news and reviews
While none of VW’s SUVs provide more than two ISOFIX-compatible seats, two options are found in the German company’s commercial-vehicle-based people-movers. The first is the larger, nine-seater Caravelle, which can fit ISOFIX seats in the outboard pews of both the second and third rows.
The Volkswagen Caravelle is available in one trim level and costs $52,590 before on-road charges.
Volkswagen Multivan / California Beach
And the second option is the modern-day ‘Kombi’. The Multivan seven-seater people-mover teams up ISOFIX anchor points and top-tether points in the two middle (swivelling) captain’s chairs and the outboard seats of the third-row bench.
The camping-focused California Beach variant – complete with pop-up canvas roof tent – can also fit four ISOFIX child seats in the TDI340 front-wheel-drive version.
The Volkswagen Multivan and California Beach form part of the update Transporter T6.1 range and are available for pre-order.