2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited: Installing a Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat in the Center vs. Passenger Side
December 23, 2014
Of course, my first inclination upon getting into our long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited was to install my child's really quite enormous rear-facing convertible car seat in the rear passenger-side position. That way, I can be selfish and leave the driver seat exactly how I want it.
But when I spotted a single lower anchor point in the rear center position, I knew I had to try a rear center installation just for kicks.
I consulted the Jeep's owner's manual and, sure enough, that center anchor point can be used in combination with the inboard driver-side lower anchor point to do a center LATCH installation.
Although I had hoped to wedge the car seat between the front seatbacks and maybe not have to move either of those seats forward, my car seat (which is wide) was offset ever so slightly to the driver side. So the driver seat had to come up quite a lot. I can still drive the Cherokee safely, and in acceptable comfort for my short trip to the grocery store. But this setup wouldn't be great on a road trip because my knees would always be bent at a 90-degree angle.
I could, however, ride in the front-passenger seat, which now provides more than enough legroom for all 5 feet and 10 inches of me. Now I just need to find a shorter spouse to do all the driving.
However, when my First Years True Fit C680 SI convertible car seat is on the passenger side with the rear seat adjusted all the way back on its track, there's still passable room for me to sit in the front-passenger seat. Indeed, my knees and shins are closer to the dash, but unlike in our long-term Nissan Rogue, they do not touch. Not having my knees against the dash is feeling more and more like a victory these days.
So much as Donna wrote about the Cherokee's rear-seat accommodations for adults, I have to give it a similar thumbs-up for its spaciousness for car seats. But for practical reasons, I'd have to put our car seat in the outboard position on the passenger side rather than in the center.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 8,085 miles