A number of Blue Oval models have received kudos from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in recent months, including the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, both of which earned the highest possible rating in the organization’s newly revised side-impact evaluation test. Meanwhile, the Ford Bronco fell a bit short of earning a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS due to its its non-standard LED headlights and inadequate head restraints. However, the Bronco did beat out its main rival – the 2022 Jeep Wrangler – in the IIHS’s driver-side small overlap crash test.
In that particular test, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler tipped over – a problem that it repeated from the 2019 model year, in spite of several structural enhancements that have taken place in the years since. The SUV tipped over on its passenger side after striking the crash barrier, which earned it a marginal rating for driver-side small overlap protection. IIHS points out that this sort of problem is particularly concerning with the Wrangler, which has a removable roof and doors, as well as no side airbags, which could increase the risk of an occupant being ejected from the vehicle.
In addition to this rating, the Wrangler earned marginal scores in terms of small overlap on the driver’s side and headlights, though it did score “good” ratings in moderate overlap front, side: original test, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.
On the other hand, the 2021 Bronco aced its driver-side small overlap crash test, earning a score of good, which it also ranked in almost all other categories including side testing, roof strength, and all other overlap testing. Aside from its marginal score for non-standard LED headlights and an adequate ranking for head restraints and seats, the Bronco held up exceptionally well in IIHS testing, overall.