The Dodge Dart is one of the newest American small (compact) cars to hit the US market, and it’s a good one. Going head to head with sedans like the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla, The Dart is frequently chosen by couples and small families interested in safe transportation and an alternative to the more popular competitors above.
And when it comes to safety, the Dart delivers. I recently found it to be one of the best cars for surviving a side impact collision, placing it among a variety of much more expensive options by manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. It also features a good moderate overlap crash score, an acceptable small overlap score, a good roof score, and the basics like ESC and side airbags.
Given all of these pros to the Dart, I wanted to see if its performance was equally impressive when it came to fitting 3 car seats across the back seat. It’s a small car, so I knew it was going to be more of a challenge than what I typically deal with when working with larger vehicles, but I felt it had good potential. The results are below, but first of all, it’s worth reviewing why using different kinds of car seats is a good idea to begin with.
When it comes to car seat safety, I always recommend rear-facing as long as your car seats will allow you (ideally until 4!), and then harnessing as long as you can with forward-facing or combination seats (ideally until 8!), and finishing strong by continuing to booster until your child is old and mature enough to pass the 5 step test for booster readiness (which typically happens between 10 and 12). Following these steps is a simple way to keep your child as safe as possible during the early years of car travel.
With that in mind, I set out to try all of the car seats at my disposal to see which 3 across installations would fit well in a Dodge Dart, and put my list below together. Overall, I’m happy with the results; the width of the Dart definitely helps compared to many other cars in its size class. If you find the list helpful when shopping for car seats, you can shop through my Amazon link below. I’ll add more seats as I test them over time.
You can access the complete 3 across guide for every vehicle here and the complete list of recommended seats here. The Canadian car seat guide is here. 3 across car seat images are courtesy of Wikipedia.
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Dodge Dart
Guaranteed 3 across installations:
Clek Fllo (x3).
Clek Foonf (x3).
Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).
Clek Oobr (x3).
Diono Radian RXT (x3).
Diono Radian R120 (x3).
Diono Radian R100 (x3).
Combi Coccoro (x3).
Tips and Tricks:
This initial generation of the Dodge Dart is 184 inches long and 72 inches wide, which makes it about as wide as the average mid-sized car while being about as long as the average small car or SUV. What this means is that you’ll have a generous amount of space for 3 across installations in terms of side-to-side width, but will need to watch your front-to-back space when dealing with tall seats. A good idea I frequently recommend is to use your seat belts instead of your LATCH anchors to make the most of that side-to-side space.
If you’re using the Radians, you’ll definitely want to make use of the angle adjuster to get as much extra room between the car seat and the vehicle’s front seats as possible; this will give you extra leg room as a driver or front seat passenger.
If you find the information on car safety, recommended car seats, and car seat reviews on this car seat blog helpful, you can bookmark and shop through this Amazon link. Canadians can bookmark and shop through this link.