The Dodge Avenger may be in the midsize sedan class, but compact is how I'd classify its backseat. A lack of room and difficult to access inboard Latch anchors made it tough to install child-safety seats in the Avenger. In one case, we defaulted to the seat belt.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
What We Like
- The booster seat installed easily and had plenty of room; the fixed head restraint did not affect its fit. The buckles are on rigid bases, so kids should be able to use them easily.
- We did not have to move the front passenger seat forward to make room for the rear-facing convertible. It was also a little easier to connect to the inboard Latch anchors with the seat's thick, rigid connectors.
- The three tether anchors on the rear shelf were easy to use.
What We Don't
- The Latch anchors are difficult to access because of stiff seat cushions and crowding from the buckles. The inboard anchors were especially tough because the buckles sit on top of them and the Latch anchors are pushed into the seatback cushions.
- We had to use the seat belt to install the infant-safety seat; after several minutes of trying, we just couldn't attach the seat's thin, hooklike connectors to the inboard Latch anchor.
- We also had to move the front passenger seat forward to an uncomfortable seating position to accommodate the rear-facing infant seat.
- We were able to connect to the inboard Latch anchor with the forward-facing convertible's rigid connectors, but it wasn't easy. Also, the convertible didn't fit well on the seat because the fixed head restraint pushed it forward.
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: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.
C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.
D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted 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 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. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.