By Jennifer Geiger on February 4, 2013
In terms of passenger room and cargo space, minivans are king. When you add comfort and family-friendly features to the list, the Dodge Grand Caravan reigns supreme. Plenty of room and easy-to-use Latch anchors mean installing child- safety seats is easy.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.
Here's how the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: There were two captain's chairs in our test car's second row, each with a set of Latch anchors. They were exposed and very easy to reach. In the third row's bench seat, there was one set of Latch anchors, straddling the middle seat and an outboard seat. Although the anchors were visible and easy to use, their position is awkward because they sit between the middle and outboard seating spots — if you use the anchors to install a child seat, you lose a second seating position. Placing the anchors in an outboard seat would have made more sense and allowed for three occupants to use the bench.
Booster seat: In the second row, the captain's chair is wide and flat, making for an easy installation of our booster. The buckles sit low on their bases, however, and could be a stretch for kids to reach. In the third row, there was plenty of room for the booster and installation was easy.
Convertible seat: The forward-facing convertible went in easily on the soft, wide captain's chair and had plenty of room. Each seat has a tether anchor all the way down at the bottom of the seatback. Connecting to it was fine, but it's a stretch. In the rear-facing position, we had to move the front passenger seat forward about an inch.
It was a little tougher to install our forward-facing convertible in the third row — the fixed head restraint got in the way, making it tough to situate the convertible at the right angle. There's one tether anchor at at the base of the seatback in the middle position.
Infant-safety seat: This rear-facing seat was easy to install with its traditional, hooklike connectors but the front-passenger seat had to stay in its moved-forward position to accommodate it. An average size adult will still have enough legroom, however.
Third-row access: Getting to the third row is easy. There's a wide pass- through between the captain's chairs. The seats are also Stow 'n Go, so they tumble into the floor if more space is needed.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, one on each captain's chair.
How many car seats fit in third row? Two
Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer