My understanding is that the safest position in a car accident is the centre of the rear seats. For example this paper finds that 0-to-3 year old "children seated in the center rear have a 43% lower risk of injury compared with children in a rear outboard position."

Risk of Injury With AIS Score of >2 and Both Crude and Adjusted Ors of Injury with
AIS Score of >2 According to Seating Position

I have been looking at seat layout for some potential car purchases and it seems universal that ISOFIX mounting points are available for the outboard positions only. I have looked at Volvo XC90, Ford Grand C-Max, VW Passat and Vauxhall Meriva.

Why is this? It seems to me that ISOFIX mountings are little loops of metal attached to the body of the car, the best picture I can find online is this answer. Adding an extra couple of these loops to the design of a car seems like it would add little to the overall cost or weight of a car. Being able to offer a 43% lower injury rate to customers with only one child, or who frequently only transport one child, would seem a big selling point. Governments put in lots of regulations concerning this, they could legislate to require it. Many customers, myself included, would be benefit from such an option. Given that it seems in everyone best interest, why do cars not have mounting points for a single ISOFIX child car seat in the centre?

2 Answers 2


While I'm not going to put words in the car company's mouths I'd imagine the reason is largely space - ISOFIX mountings have a specified spacing width, and by the time you add a car seat itself the overall width will exceed the available width of the middle seat in the backs of most cars, meaning you wouldn't be able to use the centre ISOFIX mount at the same time as either of the side ones.

Add in that the requirements for the top tether make producing a centre mount more difficult than side ones anyway (they are often fixed to the backs of the front seats) and it's even less attractive a proposition.

There are cars that have three ISOFIX mounts across the back seat (and all simultaneously usable too!) such as the Audi Q7, which actually has them in all six passenger seats for an ISOFIX-fullhouse! Or the Ford S-MAX which has three ISOFIX points in the middle row of seats (I don't think it has any in the rear row though).


The distance between anchors is fixed by the standard. This fixed distance does not work for both outboard and inboard seating positions unless the child seat is specifically made for it.

  • I do not quite understand this. I am talking about adding at the design stage two additional mounting points at the correct distance apart to take a standard isofix car seat mounted centrally in the car. This would be used when only one person is on the back seats.
    – User65535
    May 23, 2023 at 13:01
  • I don't think you would want multiple options for where to attach, and the bar attachment devices used in Europe probably don't support overlap.
    – Tiger Guy
    May 23, 2023 at 14:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .