Does the 2020 Jeep Gladiator's Car Seat Fitment Make It Kid-Friendly?

2019 Jeep Gladiator Top Tether Position

Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

By Jennifer Geiger

Jeep's rugged Gladiator pickup truck has the goods to go just about anywhere, but does that include daycare? Yes! We installed car seats in the new-for-2020 truck and found a lot to like — with a couple of exceptions in forward-facing convertible and booster seat fitment.

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The 2020 Jeep Gladiator has excellent lower Latch anchors, making installation easy. There was ample room for two car seats in the back of the pickup, but we ran into trouble when installing our forward-facing convertible and high-back booster seat.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Car Seat Check Scorecard

Cars.com graphic by Melissa Galicia Vega

With the booster, the truck's head restraints were in the way. They flip forward but do not raise or come out, so they pushed the booster off the seatback; the booster should sit flush against the seatback. The Gladiator's buckles also gave us trouble. While we like the buckles because they're on long, stable arms that are easy for little hands to find and use, they can become hidden from swinging into the upholstery's pockets.

Also, the forward-facing convertible was very difficult to install. Again, the lower anchors were easy to use, but the fixed head restraint pushed the convertible off the seatback, and the truck's top tether anchor placement behind the seatback complicated both install and fitment.

After consulting the owner's manual for instructions, we folded the seat forward using the 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. Top tether straps must be used when installing a forward-facing car seat because they limit the child's head and neck movement in a crash, so there's no way around this cumbersome process.

Check out the Jeep Gladiator's full Car Seat Check on Cars.com.

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