By Jennifer Newman on April 10, 2013
The four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, a five-seat SUV, is often asked to pull family duty over its two-door Jeep Wrangler sibling. While its high ride height means kids will be asking parents for a boost to get into it for a long time, it did work well with our child-safety seats. For 2013, the Wrangler Unlimited received new supportive seats in both rows.
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.
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the convertible seat 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. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.
Here's how the 2013 Wrangler Unlimited did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: There are two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. The anchors that are closest to the doors have exposed anchors (photo above), but the inside anchors are buried in the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet. Three tether anchors are found at the base of the second row's seatbacks.
Booster seat: The backseat is flat, making it an easy fit for our high-back booster seat. A child sitting in the booster might need a parent's help when it comes to reaching the seat belt; it's anchored several inches behind the backseat on the Wrangler Unlimited's pillar. Buckling up might be a stretch too, because the seat belt buckle has a floppy base.
Convertible seat: The forward-facing convertible fit well, but the fixed head restraint pushed the car seat forward. To fit the rear-facing convertible, we had to move the front passenger seat nearly all the way forward. This left the front passenger with her knees touching the glove box.
Infant-safety seat: This rear-facing seat also required the front passenger seat to be moved into its forward-most position. The Latch anchors were easy to use with the infant seat's hooklike connectors.
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 Newman is a certified car-seat technician. A mom of two, she owns a 2013 Subaru Outback crammed with sports gear. Email Jennifer