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Jeep Wagoneer secures Top Safety Pick Award, outshining rivals

The IIHS released its Top Safety Pick award among the three tested SUVs.

Stellantis, one of the Detroit Three automakers, received the 2024 Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its full-size SUV. The Jeep Wagoneer earned this accolade by outperforming the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition in IIHS testing for the 2023 and 2024 models.

Today, the IIHS released its results highlighting the Jeep Wagoneer as the sole recipient of the Top Safety Pick award among the three tested SUVs. To qualify for this award, a vehicle must achieve a “good” rating in three crash tests, provide “good” or “acceptable” headlights on all trims, and meet pedestrian front-crash prevention standards.

The Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition failed to meet these criteria, particularly underperforming in the small overlap test, which simulated a collision involving one front corner of the vehicle. Despite their larger size, all three SUVs showed a heightened risk of chest injuries to backseat passengers, preventing the Wagoneer from earning the Top Safety Pick+ award. The Tahoe also presented an elevated risk of abdominal injuries for rear passengers.

Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the IIHS Vehicle Research Center, praised the Wagoneer’s performance but noted room for improvement. He criticized the Expedition and Tahoe for their poor small overlap test results, emphasizing that such tests have been standard for over a decade and should have been accounted for in their designs.

In past IIHS tests, other large SUVs like the Audi Q7 and Rivian R1S have also secured 2024 Top Safety Picks, setting a high bar for safety standards.

Meanwhile, GM and Ford defended their vehicles, citing high safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, with modern technology and engineering expertise, Arbelaez stressed that these automakers should have achieved top safety ratings. He pointed out that both the Expedition and Tahoe received subpar ratings for headlights and pedestrian crash prevention, which are critical for avoiding accidents.

In the driver’s side crash test, the Tahoe earned an “acceptable” rating due to potential lower leg injuries, while its passenger-side performance was worse. The Expedition, rated “marginal” for headlights and pedestrian safety, had a structure that did not hold up well in tests, increasing the risk of injuries.

GM and Ford responded by highlighting their ongoing investments in advanced safety technologies and expressing confidence in their vehicles’ safety. They committed to incorporating IIHS feedback into future designs.

The Jeep Wagoneer’s recognition, driven by its strong performance in crash tests and advanced safety features, validates Stellantis’s engineering efforts. As competition in the large SUV market intensifies, manufacturers are urged to enhance safety designs continuously. The Wagoneer’s success demonstrates that safety and innovation are crucial in maintaining a competitive edge in the automotive industry.

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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