How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2021 Jeep Gladiator?
Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in July 2019 about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. See what’s new for 2021 or see the models compared.
The verdict: The notion of a Jeep pickup truck has spent years swirling around the rumor mill, but for 2020, it’s finally materialized with the Gladiator. Rugged, capable and … kid-friendly? Sort of. There was ample room for two car seats in the back of the Gladiator, but we ran into trouble when installing our forward-facing convertible and high-back booster seat.
Does it fit three car seats? No.
Take a look at how the Latch system and each car seat scored below in our Car Seat Check of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
Related: Search Car Seat Checks
- Latch: The two sets of lower anchors are exposed for easy connection. The top tethers are difficult to access, but this only affects the forward-facing convertible.
- Infant: The infant seat went in easily and the 5-foot, 6-inch-tall front passenger had plenty of legroom.
- Rear-facing convertible: As with the infant seat, installation was easy and legroom room was good.
- Booster: The truck’s head restraints flip forward but do not raise up or come out, pushing the booster off the seatback; the booster should sit flush against the seatback. The buckles are on long, stable arms that should make them easy for kids to grasp and use, but they swing into pockets in the upholstery and can get buried.
- Forward-facing convertible: While connecting to the lower Latch anchors was easy, the rest of the install was anything but. The truck’s fixed head restraint caused the convertible to not sit flush on the seatback, and the tether anchor’s placement behind the truck’s seatback made installation very difficult. After consulting the owner’s manual for instructions, we folded the seat forward using a seat-mounted strap, connected to the top tether anchor behind the seat, then folded the seat back up while attempting to tighten the strap. We had to do this several times to get the tether strap tight, and it was a time-consuming and physically challenging process.
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: One room, fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing the third row when available.
C: Marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. Difficult to access the third row when available.
D: Insufficient room, plus multiple fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com’s Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. Learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.
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