2012 Dodge Journey: Car Seat Check


The 2012 Dodge Journey could be an ideal minivan alternative. This crossover comes with up to three rows of seats and the storage solutions and family-hauling abilities of the stereotypical mom-mobile. For our Car Seat Check, we tested the three-row Journey that seats seven and had available integrated booster seats. A two-row version is standard.

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 infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible 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 2012 Journey did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:

Latch system: The Journey has five Latch anchors in the second row. There are two sets of anchors in the outboard seats and an additional anchor in the middle seat's position. This setup allows parents to use Latch anchors to install a child-safety seat in the middle position. However, don't use more than one Latch connector with each Latch anchor; no doubling up on Latch anchors when installing car seats. There are no Latch anchors in the Journey's third row.

The Journey has three exposed tether anchors at the bottom of the second row's seatbacks. There are no tether anchors in the third row.


Booster seat: In the second row, our high-back booster seat fit well, and the seat belt buckles have stable bases, making them easy for children to use independently.


Our test car also had two integrated booster seats, which pop up from the bottom seat cushion with a tug of a strap. My older son, age 9, really liked the booster because it was inconspicuous, which is important for him as some of his friends have graduated out of their boosters (he'll be done with boosters as soon as he's 4 feet 9 inches tall).


The high-back booster also fit well in the third row, thanks to the flat seat cushions. The floppy seat belt buckles can be difficult for kids to grasp, but the seats are wide so the booster doesn't run over the buckle.


Convertible seat: Both the forward- and rear-facing convertibles fit well in the second row. The sliding second-row seats ensured that there was plenty of room for these seats. The second row's seatbacks also recline. We didn't install the forward-facing convertible in the third row because there isn't a tether anchor for the car seat.


Infant-safety seat: The rear-facing infant seat just fit in the second row without moving the front passenger seat forward.


Third-row access: With the flip of a lever, a portion of the 60/40-split second row folds and slides forward. It takes minimal effort when a car seat isn't installed there. When there's a car seat in the second row, it's difficult to get to the third row. The larger portion of the 60/40-split second row isn't wide enough to hold two of our car seats. This foiled our attempt to create third-row access by putting the two car seats on one side and folding the smaller part of the second row to create third-row access.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in third row? Two

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.


Now that's what I call a clever way of designing a vehicle, the pop up booster seat is very clever. The only let down is there's limited access to the 3rd row seat with 3 car seats on the 2nd row, but all in all it's a winner.


Thanks for this car sear check. So basically, what you are saying is that when you have 2 car seats in the 2nd row, you cannot access the 3rd row? Thanks.

So great to see how the seats should look in a specific car. I wish I could something like this for the vehicle I drive.


Hi Francis,
You're correct. When there are two car seats in the outboard second-row seats, it's difficult to get into the third row. My kids, ages 9 and 5, are happy to climb over the second row to get to the third row, but that may not be an option (or acceptable) for you.
If you're interested in the Journey, take a car seat or two with you to the dealership to install in the car. Then you can see if your kids can get into the third row with car seats in the second row.



Thank you very much for your answer, much appreciated.



Great info ! I was wondering if you can shed some light. I am really considering the Journey for my family. I am blessed with two sets of twins . One set is five years old and still need car seats and I have a second set due in May. We would obviously be filling up all three rows here. From your research, would you recommend the Journey ? I'm afraid that third row issue that you mentioned might be too much of a problem with my situation. Thank You


Thanks so much for the helpful post! We have a toddler, and just found out we're expecting twins. The Journey seems like a perfect option. Do you think we could safely fit a Radian and two Graco Snugride 22s in the 2nd row of this car?


Can u put an infant seat in the middle position Of the 2nd row, a car seat in one of the outboard positions of the 2nd row and access the third row?

Nicole Becker

we have 1 in a booster, 2 in convertible(front facing) and one in an infant seat. would it be easier for the infant behind passenger and booster behind driver and 2 with convertibles in the back?



So can you actually fit 3 seats across the middle seat? Am looking at buying this vechile but will only do so if the carseats fit.

Thanks :)

Hi Claire, if you need to get three car seats in the second row, check out the Radian by Diono. It's very narrow. I was able to get three accross in a Honda Civic. I just bought a Journey because my eldest couldn't do up the buckle himself now that he's in a booster. It's no problem in the Journey. We can put two Radians and a Graco Turbo Booster in the second row of the Journey.

BTW, thanks for all the testing Jen.


Hi Jen,
Thank you for your review.
Is very important for me that yo can respond to Rachel and Claire, because I have a toddler and I'm expecting twins, too.
I'd like buy a Fiat Freemont (is a car like Journey) but _I don't know if we can assembly three car seats in the 2nd row.
Thank you in advance.


Hi Jorge and Claire,

The Journey nearly fit our three child-safety seats across the second row. We use the booster, infant and convertible to test three car seats, but you might have better luck fitting them depending on the car seat styles you use.

Narrow child-safety seats are another option. While we don't endorse any brands, there are several on the market that can be found by doing an internet search for narrow convertible car seat (or booster).

Good luck!

Tiffany S

Thank you for posting this! We are going to purchase a journey and I've been very curious about the seating options for 3 seats!


Hi, does anyone know if you could fit a narrow car seat in between the 2 built-in booster seats? Or maybe give me a measurement between the boosters? Thanks, I hope this thread is still alive... :-)


Are you able to install tether anchors in the third row of the journey? I ask the dealership, they said they did not have a kit in parts to do so. Would anyone know where you could have anchors installed?


hi, can someone please explain to me how to install an infant seat in the middle seat of the second row? we only have 2 rows and the side seats aren't an option for me as I have 2 much older children who won't fit in the middle.

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