The IIHS recently released their crash test results of the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and the outcome is kind of, well, disappointing. In case you haven’t seen it, the big news is the small overlap crash resulted in a partial rollover … and it actually happened twice in two tests. FCA did not experience a rollover during their test, so when the vehicle tipped after the first IIHS test, FCA questioned the vehicle attachment method used. So, the IIHS made an adjustment to meet FCA’s approval, ran the test again, and the Wrangler once again partially rolled over after impact.
The good news, is that the test dummy fared well in terms of injuries from the actual small overlap crash impact. So, props to Jeep for that. However, it’s 2020, and while I know you are thinking “well, duh, it’s a Jeep”, I am not going to cut it much slack. The 2020 Wrangler Unlimited ranges from $31,795 to $60,310, with a nicely equipped Sahara Altitude stickered north of $46,000. That is serious money. For a Jeep. Wrangler. Among other things, it’s totally unacceptable for a vehicle to flip over during a routine test like this. Come on, Jeep.
Now, I know that the Wrangler is an off-road icon. I get it. The nature of the Wrangler isn’t to be a super-safe, gadgety, daily driving, family toting SUV. We all know it shines brightest off-road, and I can appreciate how few small overlap crashes like this one, with a solid barrier there are on the trails.
But, how many Wranglers never see anything besides the pavement? The new-in-2018 JL platform brought serious creature comfort upgrades such as blindspot monitoring, back-up camera, forward collision warning, keyless entry, remote start and the popular 8.4” Uconnect touchscreen control center. In addition, trim levels like the Sahara and new Altitude have stepped up the interior’s luxury game as well. Clearly, Jeep executives and designers are aware who is buying and driving the vehicle, and have made some tremendous progress into making it a lot more comfortable and enjoyable, while retaining its roots in off-road prowess.
I truly love what the JL offers from its updated-but-unmistakably-Wrangler appearance to the safety, technology and comfort features I have grown to expect in any modern SUV. As a former Wrangler owner (2013 Unlimited Sport with many mods) I was extremely excited and optimistic about the JL being a daily driver contender for myself and 2 young children. But, yikes, Jeep!
P.S. You can read the full report from the IIHS here.