Two years ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) put a 2019 Jeep Wrangler through its driver's side small front overlap crash test twice. The IIHS describes the test as, "a vehicle travels at 40 mph toward a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier. A Hybrid III dummy representing an average-size man is positioned in the driver seat. Twenty-five percent of the total width of the vehicle strikes the barrier on the driver side." After the 2019 Wrangler collided with the barrier, it tipped over to the right, onto the passenger's side, both times. The IIHS says it just tested a 2022 Wrangler in the same test, and the same thing happened. The Institute said this resulted "in a marginal rating for driver-side small overlap protection," which is one step above the worst rating of poor, two steps below the other two ratings, acceptable and good.
There was some back-and-forth between IIHS and Jeep after the tests two years ago. When the Wrangler tipped over the first time, the IIHS said FCA "questioned whether this outcome was related to the method that IIHS engineers had used to attach the vehicle to the crash propulsion system. IIHS agreed to conduct a second test using a different method, which was approved by Fiat Chrysler." Then it tipped over again in the second test. In response, an automaker statement to Autoblog said, in part, "FCA has produced more than 500,000 of these vehicles. By conservative estimate, they have accounted for 6.7 billion miles of on-road driving. From this population, we are unaware of any incidents that correlate with the vehicle dynamic portion of the IIHS test result."
According to the IIHS site, the 2022 Wrangler Unlimited gets good ratings for the moderate front overlap test, which puts about 45% of the vehicle into a two-foot-tall barrier at just under 40 mph. The Wrangler earned good ratings for roof strength, and head restraints and seats tests as well. An updated side test earned a marginal rating to go along with this updated small front overlap challenge.
The Wrangler's ratings are all over the map depending on where you look on the map for crash test results. The newly redesigned SUV scored one star in European NCAP crash testing at the end of 2018, whereas Australia and New Zealand's NCAP tests gave the 2019 Wrangler three stars. Our own National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't given the Wrangler an overall score yet, but the Jeep earns three or four stars for every NHTSA test it's been through so far.
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