Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer fail crash test

The 2018 Ford Explorer, left, and the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee showed significant structural damage during a passenger-side small overlap test. (Photos: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

ARLINGTON, Va. (WTHR) — A crash test on midsize SUVs revealed poor ratings for the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2018 Ford Explorer.

The test, carried out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, assessed eight vehicles in its passenger-side small overlap test. This type of test mimics the impact of the front corner of a vehicle hitting another vehicle or object.

Here are the results fo the eight vehicles tested:

  • 2019 Kia Sorento: good
  • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas: good
  • 2018 GMC Acadia: good
  • 2018 Toyota Highlander: acceptable
  • 2018 Nissan Pathfinder: acceptable
  • 2018 Honda Pilot: acceptable
  • 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee: poor
  • 2018 Ford Explorer: poor

The problem with the Explorer was poor structural performance. Tests revealed a high probability of hip and lower leg injuries if there were impact to the passenger side. In another test, the Explorer also had poor structural performance on the driver side.

With the Grand Cherokee, the dummy's head hit the dashboard, then fell outside the vehicle because the side airbag didn't deploy and the door opened. The test showed both leg and head injuries would be possible.

The Sorento won IIHS' top award: Top Safety Pick. It scored well not just in the passenger-side small overlap tests, but other IIHS tests as well.

For details on each vehicle's performance, read more here.