Five star safety ratings seem to be the norm these days. Almost every new car tested by crash test agencies get high marks for safety. So it was a bit of a surprise when the European New Car Assessment Program or EuroNCAP recently concluded their tests on the all-new Jeep Wrangler.
In their latest test, the EuroNCAP gave the 2019 Wrangler a mere one star for overall safety. So how did that happen?
Before we get to the part that marked down the Wrangler, there are some bright spots in the EuroNCAP results. The seats are actually good for whiplash protection, scoring near perfect points in that aspect. It also got a perfect score in the side impact test, a good showing should a car smash into the side of the SUV. Child protection in a frontal collision was also rated good by the EuroNCAP.
However, the front impact tests don't look so good for the Wrangler. In the offset barrier crash test, the EuroNCAP noted weak chest protection for the driver. Along with that, the driver is also at a higher risk of leg injuries in an event of a crash. According to the agency, the main culprit is the dashboard as it made contact with the driver-side dummy's legs. Also, the high load forces on the driver's chest marked its score down. The passenger-side dummy on the other hand fared significantly better.
Rear occupant protection was also rated low by EuroNCAP. Like the front, they found excessive load forces on the chest, putting rear passengers at a high risk of injury. Besides the occupant protection scores, the Wrangler was marked down further because of its pedestrian protection. In the agency's words, “The protection provided by the bonnet (hood) to the head of a struck pedestrian was predominantly poor or adequate”. Legs of pedestrians won't be as injured, but the results were mixed nonetheless.
With the marginal frontal crash protection score, coupled with low ratings in the aspect of pedestrian safety, there's another factor as to how the Wrangler only got one star. The lack of electronic safety aids such as automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist prevented the Wrangler from getting more safety points from the agency.
For now, Jeep has yet to comment on EuroNCAP's results of the test, but it is possible that there will be some structural changes to help it gain the full five stars.