The short answer is NO! When it comes to safety, NHTSA and other safety experts agree that the back seat is the safest place for children under 13 years old. Most importantly, any rear-facing seat that is placed in the front seat with a frontal passenger air bag puts the child at an extremely high risk of severe injury or death.
Even if you have “smart air bags”, (those with sensors detecting the weight of the passenger with an on/off indicator light), do not install a rear-facing car seat in the front seat. Although it may be tempting and convenient to have the child within arm’s reach and their adorable face in view — remember the air bag opens up at a rate of 250 mph. This force can break the car seat and severely injure, or even kill, the child.
If a situation occurs in which you must put a forward-facing child in the front seat, be sure the car seat is installed correctly, place the child in the harness correctly, and pull the vehicle seat as far away from the air bag as possible. This should be the ‘exception to the rule’, keeping children in the back seat is the safest.