One-star safety rating for new Jeep Wrangler
Jeep's all-new Wrangler off-roader has achieved the lowest safety score of any new car under the stricter Euro NCAP crash-test regime.
The four-wheel drive wagon, which is due to arrive in Australian showrooms early in 2019, has acheived a one-star rating in the latest round of tests conducted by the independent European New Car Assessment program.
The Wrangler scored poorly across the tests, achieving a 50 percent rating for front-seat adult occupant protection, 69 per cent for rear-seat occupant protection, 49 per cent for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and just 32 per cent for active safety.
The Euro NCAP result is for a 2018 model year Wrangler Sahara (which will be called Overland in Australia) in five-door wagon body style. It is fitted with six airbags and a basic suite of electronic driver aids such as anti-skid brakes and stability control, but misses out on airbags for rear-seat occupants and was not equipped with automated emergency braking that will be available to Australian models in the 2019 model year update.
Jeep has defended the result, claiming the Wrangler "meets or exceeds federal safety requirements in every market in which it is sold" and that its focus on off-road performance means it does not align with "testing protocols that apply exclusively to urban scenarios".
"Not withstanding such misalignment, the new Jeep Wrangler benefits from fully boxed, body-on-frame construction featuring pressure-formed front-rail sections, with high-strength steel in all critical areas," it said in a statement.
A Jeep Australia spokesperson added that "safety is something we take incredibly seriously, and every other member of our Jeep family of vehicles wears a five-star safety rating with pride, whether they have been crash-tested by ANCAP in Australia or by Euro NCAP. The Wrangler is a specialist vehicle that offers unique features that are highly valued by our customers, both in Australia and overseas."
Australian versions of the Wrangler will be available with more active driver aids than the vehicle tested in Europe, including AEB, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, a reverse camera and parking sensors.
At the opposite end of the scale to the Jeep, the all-new Ford Focus, Jaguar's first fully-electric vehicle, the I-Pace, Hyundai's award-winning Santa Fe seven-seat SUV and the upcoming Genesis G70 have all scored five-star ratings in the latest round of ANCAP results.
As Editor in Chief of the Drive Network, Amac is one of Australia's most experienced automotive journalists with more than 25 years experience in newspapers, magazines, broadcasting and digital media.