SAFETY

The Wrangler Unlimited has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. The outer Latch anchors were easy to use, but the inner anchors in both positions sat right behind the seat belt buckles, which made them difficult to use.

The good news for me was my kids' booster seats fit safely and securely in the backseat. For those of you with younger kids, beware. The rear seats are angled, making convertible child-safety seats tricky to fit properly because as the bench is narrow and the fixed rear head restraints don't accommodate the back of the convertible seat very well. A rear-facing infant seat was a tight fit.

Jeep has made all kinds of safety features standard in the 2010 Wrangler Unlimited, but there are some features that are not. For example, it has standard front airbags, but side-impact airbags for the front row are optional ($490). Side curtain airbags are not available in the Jeep, which is not surprising when you consider that the Wrangler Unlimited's top is removable.

The Wrangler Unlimited's standard safety features include four-wheel-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, all-speed traction control and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology that pulses individual brakes to prevent impending rollovers.

It should be noted that in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Wrangler Unlimited received a Marginal score in side-impact and rear crash protection tests. Vehicles are scored using a Good, Acceptable, Marginal and Poor grading system. The Wrangler Unlimited scored Good in the frontal-offset tests. The SUV hasn't been tested using the agency's new roof-strength tests. As a mom, these scores give me pause. You'll have to decide for yourself if the fun factor outweighs the crash-test results.

    See also:

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