A Jeep Gladiator may be the perfect vehicle for you if you enjoy off-roading or need a strong work vehicle. However, you may find yourself hesitating to purchase it if you also need your vehicle for personal use. The Jeep Gladiator has earned the reputation of not being able to accommodate families' car seats. If you are considering the Jeep Gladiator and have small children, you might be wondering if you can fit three car seats in the Gladiator. We have done this research for you.
While vehicle experts will say that the Gladiator cannot fit three car seats, many Gladiator owners have come forward to share that they have correctly installed three car seats in their Gladiator. The biggest factor that predicts success is the type of car seats that are used.
To help you find a configuration that serves your family's needs and fits into your Jeep Gladiator, we will examine different types of car seats and discuss their compatibility with the Gladiator.
Fit Check: Car Seat Types and Your Jeep Gladiator
Vehicle consumer guide, Cars.com, has performed a car seat check, installing each type of car seat in a Jeep Gladiator to see how they fit. We will explain their results as well as discuss the experiences of parents who own a Jeep Gladiator.
Infant Car Seats
Infant car seats need to be rear-facing since they accommodate children up to 24 months old, which is the earliest that children can face forward in most states. The infant car seat is easy to install in the Jeep Gladiator, and it leaves plenty of room for other passengers as well.
Compatibility With Other Car Seats
User Jollydude 101 on the Jeep Gladiator forum explained that one child uses a forward-facing car seat while another uses an infant seat. The infant seat left plenty of room for the other car seat to fit. User Gren71, on the same forum, installed two infant seats and was impressed at how well they fit together.
Rear-Facing Convertible Seats
The rear-facing convertible car seat was easy to install and also left plenty of room for other passengers. Jeep Gladiator forum user capercrew02 suggests finding narrow convertible car seats if you need to place more than one in your vehicle so they can all fit properly on the backseat.
Forward-Facing Convertible Seats
Convertible seats did not receive a good fit check report when they were installed facing forward. Installation proved to be difficult since the car seat did not sit correctly against the back of the vehicle's seat.
Most car seats give you the option of using a latch system or the car's seatbelt to install the car seat. In the Jeep Gladiator, the latch system's top anchor was difficult to reach to connect the car seat properly. While installation was possible, it was time-consuming.
If you use a forward-facing convertible seat and are willing to undergo the difficult installation process, you can save time and frustration by leaving the car seat in the vehicle after it is installed rather than taking it out after every use. Again, if you need to install more than one car seat, narrower seats will allow for the best fit.
While a booster seat is easy to install and can easily be taken out of a vehicle as needed, safety is still a focus. According to Cars.com fit check, booster seats did not receive a good rating because they did not sit flush against the back of the seat. You must be careful with this because you don't want the seatback to push the booster so far that it is hanging off of the vehicle's seat.
Compatibility With Other Car Seats
Because booster seats are so compact, they can fit in the Gladiator along with two other car seats.
Jeep Gladiator forum user Dwosgood, who has a booster installed alongside a rear-facing car seat and an infant car seat, states that the seats are cramped side-by-side, but everyone has enough room in their own car seat. There is plenty of floor space too, since two of the three children are rear-facing.
The Latch System
We've explained previously that most car seats allow for installation using the vehicle's seatbelt or a latch system. The Jeep Gladiator accommodates the latch system and has a set of anchors available for each rear seat, allowing for three car seats to be installed using the latch system.
The Cars.com fit check evaluated the Gladiator's latch system and found that the anchors located at the bottom of the rear seats are exposed and easily accessible. The top anchors are difficult to reach, however, making it difficult to use the latch system with a forward-facing car seat.
Recommended Car Seats
Because the ability to fit three car seats into the Gladiator largely depends on the size of the car seats, Jeep Gladiator users recommended certain brands of car seats for the best fit.
Across all forums and threads, the Diono Radion was highly recommended for use in the Jeep Gladiator. These seats are slimmer than some other options on the market, so they fit nicely beside each other in the Gladiator. Designed for children from infant through age 10, this could be the only seat you'll ever need!
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Seat
This infant seat is narrow enough that it can fit alongside two other car seats. You can install it without the base to give you a little more room to work with.
Graco Affix Highback Booster
This booster has a narrow design and can be converted into a backless booster for more space. This seat includes a hidden storage drawer that kids will love using for storing their favorite items.
Is The Jeep Gladiator A Family Vehicle?
The Jeep Gladiator does a good job of keeping family safe while off-roading and in regular day-to-day use. Older children will find that the back seats are comfortable and have plenty of space. However, a known issue with the Jeep Gladiator involves car seats.
When you start to add car seats into the equation, the spacious backseats become a bit more cramped, especially when you use more than one. Also, not all car seats fit well in the Jeep Gladiator. While the Gladiator can be a family car, it will require extra planning to achieve.
How Well Do Carseats Fit In A Jeep Gladiator?
All in all, Jeep Gladiator owners are satisfied with the way their car seats fit. One Redditor on a Jeep Gladiator forum was thrilled to share how well their infant car seat, booster, and forward-facing car seat fit in the back seat. However, some owners find that having even one car seat in the back seat makes it difficult to fit three people in the back that the Gladiator is intended to hold.
The Gladiator has enough room to fit car seats in the back, either alone or with other children. However, adults will struggle to fit in the back seat with one or more car seats installed.
How Safe Is The Jeep Gladiator?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not provide an overall safety rating for the Jeep Gladiator. However, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator earned four stars on the frontal crash test, which evaluates how well a vehicle protects passengers in a head-on collision. The rollover test, which measures rollover risk, yielded a rating of three stars.
In terms of safety features, the Gladiator is comparable to other trucks on the market. Standard features include hill start assist, rear back-up camera, trailer sway assist, and front and side airbags. The Gladiator also has child locks, but some users report issues with them working correctly.
While some car experts state that the Jeep Gladiator cannot fit three car seats, the reason is a matter of convenience rather than safety. In some cases, you will have difficulty with installation, and in all cases, you will sacrifice having space for other passengers. If you are willing to tolerate this, you can safely put three car seats in a Gladiator.
For more information about keeping your Jeep safe for your family, take a look at these articles: