Explorer, Grand Cherokee Earn “Poor” Overlap Crash Ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released the results for their passenger-side small overlap crash tests on eight midsize SUVs revealing “poor” ratings for both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer.
The small overlap test, in which the front corner of the vehicle strikes a stationary barrier, began in 2012 and has forced automakers to rethink crash structure. Originally devised for the driver-side, the IIHS recently started testing the passenger-side to promote equal protection for both the driver and passenger.
In addition to the Explorer and Grand Cherokee, this latest round of testing included: The Kia Sorento, Volkswagen Atlas, GMC Acadia, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot. All vehicles are 2018 model years except for the Kia Sorento, which is a 2019 version. According to IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby, “Although some vehicles in this group offer very good protection, in other models, the airbags, safety belts and structure showed serious deficiencies.”
The Ford Explorer rated poorly due to a compromised body structure that allowed for 15-inches of intrusion at the lower door hinge pillar and 13-inches at the upper door hinge pillar. The driver-side test also revealed weaknesses and earned the Explorer a “marginal” rating.
In the case of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, lower intrusion was measured at 10-inches, but the greatest concern came from observation of the dummy’s head, which hit the dashboard through the front airbag. The passenger side door opened while the curtain airbag failed to deploy, allowing the head to rebound outside of the vehicle.
The Honda Pilot also revealed the possibility of head injuries, but still earned an “acceptable” rating as did the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder. The GMC Acadia, Volkswagen Atlas and Kia Sorento all earned a “good” rating.