Jeep Wagoneer Leads IIHS Safety Tests

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The Jeep Wagoneer emerges as a standout in the latest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests, outperforming its peers in safety ratings. While the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition lag behind, the Wagoneer secures a 2024 TOP SAFETY PICK award.

Key Highlights:

  • Jeep Wagoneer secures a 2024 TOP SAFETY PICK award.
  • Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition fall short in safety tests.
  • All three SUVs struggle with back seat passenger protection.

The Jeep Wagoneer is the only model among three popular large SUVs tested by the IIHS to earn a 2024 TOP SAFETY PICK award. The Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition failed to meet the mark due to poor performance in the small overlap front crash test, a critical evaluation where over 90% of new models have excelled since 2021.

These large SUVs are designed to transport people and tow heavy loads like boats and campers. However, none of them provide adequate protection for back seat passengers, preventing the Wagoneer from achieving the higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+ award.

“The huge mass of these large SUVs provides some additional protection in crashes with smaller vehicles, though that also means they present more danger to other road users,” said IIHS President David Harkey. He emphasized that their large size also means they have more force to manage during crashes with fixed obstacles.

Performance in Crash Tests:

  • Jeep Wagoneer: In the small overlap evaluation, the Wagoneer maintained survival space for the driver and front passenger, though slight intrusion in the footwell posed a minor risk to the driver’s left foot and ankle. The front and side curtain airbags effectively protected the dummies’ heads.
  • Chevrolet Tahoe: The Tahoe managed adequate survival space but showed substantial footwell intrusion, posing a significant risk of lower leg injuries in the driver-side test. The passenger-side test revealed even greater intrusion, increasing injury risks.
  • Ford Expedition: The Expedition’s structure did not hold up, with the steering column detaching partially and the A-pillar separating from the rocker panel in both tests. This led to high risks of leg injuries.
Jeep Wagoneer Leads IIHS Safety Tests

All three SUVs earned good ratings in the moderate overlap front evaluation, focusing on front seat protection. However, none performed well with a second-row dummy added, showing high risks of chest injuries due to high seat belt forces.

Additional Safety Features:

  • Pedestrian Crash Avoidance: The Wagoneer and Expedition received good ratings for their standard front crash prevention systems, avoiding most pedestrian collisions in both day and night scenarios. The Tahoe, however, only earned a marginal rating due to its poor performance in nighttime tests.
  • Headlights: The Wagoneer features acceptable- or good-rated headlights across all trims. The Expedition’s headlights are marginal, struggling on curves and causing glare. The Tahoe’s headlights received poor ratings, contributing to its lackluster pedestrian crash avoidance results.
  • Seat Belt Reminders: The Expedition’s seat belt reminders are rated good, while the Tahoe’s are acceptable, lacking reminders for second-row seats. The Wagoneer’s reminders are marginal, delayed in alerting unbelted occupants and missing second-row reminders.
  • LATCH System: Both the Wagoneer and Tahoe earned good+ ratings for the ease of use of their LATCH systems for child seat installation, while the Expedition earned an acceptable rating.

Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Institute’s Vehicle Research Center, noted, “These discouraging results show that some popular vehicles still lag behind in meeting the most advanced safety standards. The good news is that the top performer in this class proves that automakers can readily address these problems.”

The Jeep Wagoneer’s strong performance in IIHS tests highlights its superior safety features, setting a benchmark for other large SUVs to follow.

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