The new Jeep Wrangler failed the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) frontal crash test and received a one-star rating. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States gave the Jeep Wrangler three out of five stars. Which rating should you trust?
Euro NCAP vs. NHTSA
Since 1997, the Euro NCAP has been conducting independent tests on vehicles to determine their safety and performance. The Euro NCAP is similar to the NHTSA in the U.S., but it’s stricter. Although both organizations use a five-star safety rating system to evaluate cars, the Euro NCAP includes active safety systems in its rating, along with the results of the crash tests. On the other hand, the NHTSA doesn’t incorporate the safety systems in its criteria.
The Euro NCAP conducts a series of crash tests that include front impact, side impact, and pole tests. The organization also does a series of pedestrian tests. Some of the safety systems it judges include automatic emergency braking, lane support, seatbelt reminders, and speed assist technology. On the other hand, the NHTSA only looks at the front crash impact.
The Wrangler’s crash test results
The Euro NCAP tested the Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4-Door Unlimited model, which has five seats and a 2.2-liter diesel engine. This car is in the large off-road vehicles class. According to the Euro NCAP, a one-star rating is the lowest and means the car offers marginal crash protection. The new Jeep Wrangler received one star for the frontal crash test, but it did slightly better on the side crash and whiplash tests. Overall, the Euro NCAP shared that the vehicle gave marginal protection for the body, chest, and neck areas of both drivers and passengers. The Jeep Wrangler only earned 50% on the adult occupant protection score.
The organization pointed out that the Jeep Wrangler didn’t have lane assist technology or automatic braking. However, it did have a seatbelt reminder and speed assist technology. The Fiat Chrysler group, which makes Jeep, has stated that it plans to include cruise control technology and automatic braking in the 2019 model of the Wrangler.
The Jeep Wrangler costs about $62,000 or 50,000 European pounds, and some experts predict that the Euro NCAP’s rating won’t affect sales. Many people buy this model as a fun off-road vehicle, so they may not care about the safety features. It’s important to note that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the U.S. hasn’t conducted its tests on the Jeep Wrangler, which may affect buyer perceptions.
Despite the recent low rating for the Jeep Wrangler Sahara from the Euro NCAP, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon won the 2019 SUV of the Year from Four Wheeler magazine. The judges tested the Rubicon over 1,000 miles of terrain and reached elevations of 9,000 feet above sea level. They focused on off-road uses for the vehicle, such as driving on sand, rocks, or dirt. Although they evaluated features like tire performance, visibility, ride quality, and performance, they didn’t conduct crash tests or look at safety.
Designed for off-roading
Experts point out that the Jeep Wrangler is designed for off-roading. It may not be the ideal vehicle for busy parents who have to pick up their kids from school every day and drive them to sports practice, but it’s perfect for parents who want to drive through a desert on the weekend. They’re not likely to run into a lot of traffic in the desert, which minimizes safety concerns.
The Jeep Wrangler is a rugged and durable vehicle that handles difficult terrain well. If you’re interested in purchasing one, simply keep the Euro NCAP results in mind.