Safety standards for cars are now incredibly high, and the European New Car Assessment Programme just published its results for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler. Don’t worry, it didn’t score zero stars like the Fiat Punto did in 2017 and the 2018 Fiat Panda just did, but it lags behind a lot of other modern cars in several key safety areas.
After evaluating crash test safety for adult and child occupants, safety to vulnerable road users and safety assistance systems, the Euro NCAP gave the Wrangler one out of five stars. Mostly, it dinged the Wrangler for poor pedestrian protection and lack of driver safety assist features as compared to other new cars.
Head protection from the Wrangler’s hood to a struck pedestrian was “predominantly poor or adequate,” the agency concluded. Pelvis protection results were mixed—never a good thing—though the bumpers offer good leg protection.
While the Wrangler has a standard seatbelt reminder for front and rear passengers and a driver-set speed assistance system to help stop excessive speeding, it doesn’t have other safety equipment commonly found in competitor cars, like lane-keeping and emergency braking assists.
In crash tests for children aged 6 to 10, the frontal offset test was rated good or adequate for all critical body areas except for the neck of the 10-year-old child dummy. The dummy’s head made contact with the interior during the side barrier test, leading the Wrangler to earn a marginal protection rating there.
Yet, overall protection everywhere else was good. The Euro NCAP applauded the Wrangler’s clear, driver-facing information regarding the status of the airbag system.
In the frontal offset test for adult occupants, the agency found that connection between the A-pillar and the trans-facia was damaged in a way that suggested that it wouldn’t be able to handle higher loads. Deformation to the footwell “showed that the structure had reached the limit of its integrity.” Additionally, the dashboard was thought to be a risk to people of different sizes and sitting in different positions.
“Dummy readings together with the penalty applied for the unstable bodyshell,” the report reads, “resulted in protection of the driver chest being rated as weak. In the full-width rigid barrier test, dummy readings of chest compression showed marginal protection of the driver chest. For the rear passenger, dummy readings showed weak protection of the neck and, combined with high shoulder-belt loads, poor protection of the chest.”
Maximum points were scored in the side barrier test.
Crash tests, notes to the agency, include a frontal impact test, an offset frontal impact test (where 40 percent of the width of the car hits a deformable barrier), a pole test (the car is shoved sideways into a rigid pole) and a side impact test.