Jeep won't be pleased with this result.
The Jeep Wrangler may be one of the finest off-roaders out there but it doesn't have the greatest reputation for safety. In 2019, the rugged Bronco rival received a one-star rating from Euro NCAP. This didn't bode well for the US-spec models, but nothing could have prepared us for the disastrous IIHS assessment. Alarmingly, the 2019 model rolled over during the driver-side small overlap crash test.
Despite structural modifications, the 2022 Wrangler has done the same thing. As seen below, the Jeep hits the barrier at 40 mph, sending it onto its side. As the organization notes, a rollover increases the risk of injury as an occupant can be ejected from the vehicle. More worrying is the fact that the Wrangler has a removable roof and doors - and lacks curtain airbags.
Despite the dramatic evaluation, the IIHS still awarded the Jeep a 'marginal' score, noting that the adventurous Wrangler "performed well by the normal metrics used to evaluate performance in the test." Other positives included a strong safety cage and effective occupant restraints.
However, the test also showed a great risk of injury to the driver's left leg and foot. What's more, the head/torso side airbag didn't deploy in the evaluation. Speaking to Automotive News, IIHS spokesperson Joe Young said the 'marginal' rating is a result of the rollover. "Obviously, rolling onto the side could present additional risk to a person that would be seated on the far side of that vehicle, so that's why we ultimately decided to downgrade the vehicle to 'marginal.'"
Stellantis is yet to make an official statement regarding the unnerving evaluation, but a company representative told the publication that it is unaware of any real-world incidents that mirror the IIHS results. "Real-world data and ongoing demand indicate the four-door Wrangler meets or exceeds the expectations of the buying public," said an unnamed spokesperson.
Despite the overall rating, it's still very concerning to see such a popular vehicle performing so poorly. The risk of a rollover greatly increases the chances of being seriously injured. The Wrangler isn't the only Jeep to perform poorly in recent years. In 2018, the previous generation Grand Cherokee rated poorly in the passenger-side small overlap crash test.
The latest IIHS assessment is one of many that has cast a light on the Wrangler's safety. Australia's ANCAP also awarded the SUV just one out of five stars.