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5 Best Rear Facing Car Seats For Small Cars (Buying Guide)

If you have a small car that doesn’t take up much space, it won’t have that much space to pack in a rear-facing seat, either.

This also means that small cars don’t seem to have as many car seat options. But don’t let that discourage you in the search for the best rear-facing car seats for small cars.

a quick look at my favorite rear facing car seats

Best 3-in-1 pick
Safety 1st Guide 65

Safety 1st Guide 65

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Best Slim-Fit Car Seat
Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Car Seat

Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Car Seat

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Most Lightweight & Easy-to-Use
Combi Coccoro

Combi Coccoro

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Best For Safety Features
Britax Allegiance

Britax Allegiance

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Best Free-To-Grow
Graco Extend2Fit

Graco Extend2Fit

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Main Points

  • Not all car seats fit all cars. Therefore, small cars require car seats that are compact.
  • Dimensions and weight limits, and extra features should be taken into account when searching for a suitable car seat.
  • Graco Extend2Fit is the best overall pick, as it’s free-to-grow.
  • Britax Allegiance is an amazing option if you’re looking for great safety features.
  • Safety 1st is the best 3-in-1 pick.
  • Lastly, Combi Coccoro is perfect for travelers as it’s lightweight.

Top 5 Rear-facing Car Seats For Small Cars

Having a small car is useful when it comes to its practicality and comfort. Its size won’t ever hold you back in terms of parking space. They are known for their agility and are less financially taxing.

However, that shouldn’t make finding a good car seat for your child an issue. There might be fewer options because of the lack of space in the car. However, that doesn’t make the search for your baby’s seat an impossible quest.

There are many convertible car seats out there. Despite that, we’ve compiled a short list of the top 5 best car seats perfect for the comfort of your small car. Without any delay, here are the baby car seats.

5. Safety 1st Grow and Go – Best 3-in-1 pick

Safety 1st Grow and Go is an amazing baby car seat option for its great range of adjustable features and mechanisms. Considering that it’s an all-in-one convertible car seat, it’s quite a small pick in comparison to other similar models.

It’s a seat that is perfect for any small car or if you want extra legroom, even though it’s a convertible. It’s a LATCH-equipped car seat that easily carries from 5 to 40 lbs when facing the rear.

You can even fit three such seats in the backseat area of most cars. This makes it excellent for growing families.

Its impressive features, such as the side impact protection mechanism, keep your baby safe. The 5-point harness in the front of the seat is also there to ensure your baby’s safety.

There are safety features that meet the regular safety standard regulations under a year-long warranty. But Safety 1st is not only interested in security but also comfort. In addition, they say parenting should be worry-free and full of joy.

For that to be possible, removable body pillows also help your little one sit comfortably in this baby car seat. An additional feature is the cup holder (also removable) which is perfect for keeping your baby’s drink nearby.

The only drawback of this car seat is that there isn’t a recline on the seat, unlike the other Safety 1st models similar to this one. However, this is the smallest model available, so it’s a sacrifice that isn’t huge in the grand scheme.


  • Built to Grow
  • Good harness making it a parent-safe ride
  • Easy to clean
  • Many options to pick from


  • It doesn’t recline

Why Should You Buy It?

It’s the perfect car seat for anyone that has a small car and wants an equally small baby seat for their baby to sit on while being completely sure of their little one’s safety.

Also Read: 5 Amazing Gliders For Small Nursery

4. Graco SlimFit Convertable Car Seat – Best slim-fit car seat

The Graco SlimFit Convertable comes in 5 different colored designs. We consider this the best slim-fit car seat for it is 3-in-1 different dimensions, including a rear-facing seat, a front-facing seat, and a booster seat. Thus, making it perfect for usage while your child grows freely.

Its slim design comes together with cup holders on each side, which can be rotated away to keep the slim fit. It has a steel-reinforced frame that has a 10-year-long guarantee.

Graco cares about your safety, so there are a few qualities to let you rest easy knowing that your child will be safe in the backseat on its own.

One of the greatest options is the no-thread harness which, together with the headrest, is adjustable with the help of only one motion. Moreover, the headrest has a height of 10 headrest positions. This makes it an extremely safe and comfortable pick for your little one.

On top of that, the 4-position recline allows for amazing comfort for your evergrowing child, making sure it keeps its comfort.

Those qualities include the InRight LATCH, which is very easy to use. It only takes about 2 seconds.

What’s more, this car seat is ProtectPlus engineered. This simply means that it’s undergone the most extensive crash tests to ensure your child’s safety. Lie assured that your child will be protected in any kind of crash, whether there’s frontal, side, or rear pressure, and even rollover crashes.


  • It has a SlimFit car seat
  • Machine washable
  • Five-point harness
  • Easy to install
  • Safe


  • The release button is hidden
  • Not FAA approved

Why Should You Buy It?

This car seat is perfect for you if you’re a growing family that wants to buy a 3-in-1 for their child to grow in because it can hold from 5 to 100 lbs. It’s also a slim fit which helps save space in the back, and is great for installing in small cars.

3. Combi Coccoro – The most lightweight and easy-to-use pick

Combi is a very lightweight convertible car seat perfect for any small car. It includes Tru-Safe Side Impact Protection, like other car seats on this list do. This is possible because of the foam and deep side walls that keep your child’s neck, head and spine protected.

It’s great for small children, and it’s compact and lightweight. In fact, it’s design is made with small cars in mind. It’s portable and very easy to install.

It has a buckle with an indicator, a visual cue when the harness is properly buckled. On top of this, it utilizes a tether connector strap for Rear-Facing tethering.

It has four reclining positions and is perfectly suitable for accommodating a baby to about 33 lbs and a toddler of maximum 40 lbs while facing forward. It is FAA certified, so it’s great for travel. It’s known for being one of the few travel car seats, and that is one of its key qualities.

It’s made out of polyurethane foam, which isn’t dangerous contrary to popular belief. It’s extremely safe to wash in the machine. However, first, check the instruction manual to make sure you know how to proceed with the suitable washing instructions.


  • Easy to use
  • Great compact dimensions
  • Tru-Safe protection system
  • Lightweight
  • Buckle with an indicator if it’s securely attached


  • Not the smallest rear-facing seat, given its max weight capacity of 33 lbs
  • The crotch strap could be longer

Why Should You Buy It?

Combi Coccoro is a great seat that’s perfect for you if you’re looking for a convertible rear-facing seat for your newborn. It’s compact and easy to use, especially if you have travel in mind.

2. Britax Allegiance – best safety features

The Britax Allegiance is an amazing car seat for its already distinguished Britax quality safety mechanisms.

Britax SafeCell Impact protection is an outstanding quality of this narrow Britax seat.

It offers additional protection with the foam on the sides that absorbs the impact keeping your child safe. Moreover, it keeps your child safe, comfortable, and protected.

It’s made of specifically durable materials such as alloy steel. It’s very immune to damage, and it’s guaranteed to last you a lifetime.

The installation process is quite easy too. In fact, it consists of LATCH attachment connectors and pins that are very obvious and simple to figure out. You only need to lock them with a push-button which is very intuitive.

The 5-point harness, which is a safety feature, and the car seat’s small dimensions of 26 x 18.5 x 21 inches make it practical and ensure the safety of your newborn


  • Easy to install and use
  • Durable
  • Safe for carrying 5 to 40 lbs facing backward and 20 to 65 pounds facing forward
  • The 10-position harness that grows with your child
  • Compact


  • Not suitable for aircraft usage

Why Should You Buy It?

This car seat offers amazing safety features, and it’s extremely easy to use. You can’t go wrong with this option.

1. Graco Extend2Fit – Best free-to-grow pick

The Graco Extend2Fit, as stated by the name, extends to fit the size of your growing child. It’s a seat that grows as your child does. This is useful as it means you don’t need to change your child’s seat as they won’t out-grow it as fast as some of the other ones.

Graco is a renowned company that stands behind its quality. What made them one of the best-sellers when we’re talking about baby car seats is their absolute comfort, quality, and functionality, which is approved by countless parents worldwide.

This seat has wonderful qualities that make it perfect for small cars. Some of them include high adjustability, a compact size, and a visually appealing design, and they also provide your child with the comfort of rear-facing car seats bring with the addition of you having extra room as well.

It’s been made for compact cars, so they are sure to fit most, if not all, small cars. You can install it in a back or forward-facing mode. Its measurements are pretty compact, and it has fantastic overall features to support its high status as the best American car seat brand.

The rear-facing seat can safely accommodate your child from 5 to 40 lbs. Its six recline positions undoubtedly provide comfort, along with the ten headrest positions available.

It also has a four-position extension panel that enables more extended periods of driving in the rear position for your child while keeping your comfort in mind. It ensures extra legroom for you by providing 5 inches of extra space.

It’s super easy to install and use. The seat has an In-right LATCH system, a harness compartment, and a no-rethread harness.

It meets Federal Safety Standards and regulations. What’s more, it’s perfectly safe to take with you on the plane, as it’s approved for aircraft usage.

The ProtectPlus engineering is excellent at keeping your child safe and protected in the case of a car crash in the side, rear, frontal, or even in a rolled-over position.


  • Super easy to install
  • No manual strap rethreading
  • Machine washable
  • 6 Recline seat positions
  • It can be used for rear-seating longer


  • There is no booster seat.

Why Should You Buy It?

This car seat is super safe and comfortable. Its remarkable features make it an outstanding offer. In fact, it offers a really easy installation, six recline positions, and extended rear-facing, which creates extra space and legroom.

Also Read: 5 Amazing Baby Carrier For Hot Weather

What To Look For In A Car-Seat?

Fitting Dimensions

Make sure that your car seating dimensions are suitable for the comfort of your car. There is a huge variety of options when it comes to picking out the size and measurements for your dimensions.

Weight Limits

Depending on its size, the usual weight limit goes from 30 to 40 lbs for rear car seats best suitable for newborns. However, it’s amazing if your car seat includes a built-to-grow function, meaning you don’t need to invest in different seats.

These are usually found as 3-in-1 options. Instead of upgrading your seat, you can make minimal adjustments without spending extra money.

Seat Positions

Seats offer three different positions. It’s best to buy a seat that can be used in both front and rear positions. And after your child grows a bit, it can also become a booster seat.

Extra Features

There are a few extra features that are great additions to your car seat. These include LATCH systems, push-button installations, no re-thread harnesses, safety mechanisms such as Tru-Safe or SafeCell, and others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are compact convertible car seats safe to use?

They are perfectly safe to use and follow all the needed Federal Safety Regulations. Their small size doesn’t make them unsafe.
In fact, they contain extra features to keep your baby safe, such as a 5-point harness, a variety of adjustable features, and a headrest for your baby.

Are rear-facing seats less comfortable for kids?

Simply put, the answer is no. There isn’t really anything different about rear-facing seats. Actually, they are made to protect your baby from injury, as the baby isn’t as impacted during any accident as much.
The force of impact falls on the back of the rear-facing seat leading to no stress or impact to your baby’s neck, spine, and internal organs.

Can you use rear-facing seats for toddlers?

You should use rear-facing seats for your child until he’s/she’s allowed to use a bigger seat suitable for their age and size.
There are three different types of seats: rear seats, forwards-seats, and booster seats.
Rear seats are used for infants up until about their 3rd year when they grow big enough to comfortably sit in a front-facing seat, which is for kids up to 7 years old.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, small cars require compact car seats. So, ensure the car seat you’re buying is comfortably fitted for the space in your car.

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