2015 Jeep Renegade: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits, But Forces Passenger to the Back
by Erin Riches, Deputy Editor on September 7, 2015
"Are people in our situation really shopping for entry-level, subcompact crossover SUVs?" asked my better half as we were driving in the long-term 2015 Jeep Renegade.
"Yes," I answered.
He asked the question because our family of three barely fits in the Jeep Renegade. Then he made the argument that the tiny crossover class (Renegade, Chevy Trax, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke) really targets single people and childless couples. He's probably right, but I can't be the only person interested in this vehicle class.
My interest in miniature SUVs is narrow, by the way. I just like the idea of an affordable new vehicle with raised ground clearance, because now that I'm a parent, I'm always on the verge of throwing out my back. Not bending is a great thing.
So I installed my daughter's enormous rear-facing convertible car seat in the Renegade. She was content.
But there's no room to spare in the front-passenger seat, so the non-driving parent always had to ride in the backseat. There's room for that, but if you combine a 5-foot-10-inch driver and a 5-foot-9-inch passenger, you'll have to negotiate the legroom situation. Most likely, the driver seat will need to come forward a bit on its seat track.
Because of the total inability to use the front-passenger seat, I would eliminate the Renegade from contention and turn my attention to the Jeep Cherokee, which is comparatively roomy. But for families in which the adults are shorter, this Jeep could certainly work and it has some nice conveniences.
For example, the lower anchors (LATCH) are well marked to minimize fumbling in dimly lit garages.
Further, although the rear door openings are narrow due to the Renegade's short length, the doors themselves do open to a nearly 90-degree angle to facilitate loading of a large car seat.
In this photo, you can also see that my car seat obstructs very little of the glass area on the rear door. Mostly, this is due to the reality that the Jeep's rear doors have very little glass to obstruct. Nevertheless, I consider this a plus for the Renegade, because this particular car seat creates massive blind spots in other vehicles I've driven, including my own Mazda 5.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor