Ford and Dodge Midsize SUV Safety Rating Comparison: Who Comes Out On Top?

Ford and Dodge Midsize SUV Safety Rating comparison both have poor safety ratings for their midsize SUVs, but Ford scored slightly higher. Due to both Dodge and Ford midsize SUVs having received poor safety ratings insurance rates will definitely be affected. Safety upgrades can lower your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The IIHS/HDLI has tested the Ford and Dodge midsize SUV models and provided safety ratings for each of them
  • Ratings for all of these vehicles were fairly similar in most areas
  • Ford produces safer midsize SUV options than Dodge according to the safety testing results

If you intend to purchase a midsize SUV as your next vehicle, you should put some thought into how it would affect your auto insurance rates.

Car companies know that safer vehicles generally yield lower insurance rates, so they advertise their vehicles as safe options regardless of how they endure safety tests. Their main goal is to get you to purchase one of their vehicles, so they’ll say anything you want to hear.

If you want solid and reliable safety ratings before you purchase your next vehicle, you should consider the safety ratings provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

Compare car insurance quotes to find the insurer who’s right for you and your vehicle. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above to get started.

How the IIHS/HLDI Provides Safety Ratings

The safety ratings that the IIHS/HLDI provides will give you a clear view of how safe a vehicle really is. They use their vehicle research center to evaluate every vehicle’s safety features and makes their findings free and accessible to the public.

Vehicles receive good, acceptable, marginal, or poor ratings for the following categories:

  • crashworthiness
  • crash avoidance and mitigation
  • child seat anchors

They receive basic, advanced, and superior ratings specifically for their front crash prevention, which falls under the crash avoidance and mitigation category.

The focus of this study will be the midsize SUVs created by Ford and Dodge. The following information will compare the Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, and Dodge Journey.

Testing Crashworthiness

How much a crash-test dummy is affected during the crashes is what determines a vehicle’s crashworthiness. If the vehicle can effectively protect the dummy, it can protect living passengers as well.

The IIHS/HDLI runs tests on each vehicle’s front small and moderate overlaps, head restraints and seats, sides, and roof strength. Most of the vehicles earned “good” ratings in every crash worthiness area other than front small overlap.

The Ford Flex and Edge both received “acceptable” ratings in this area. The Dodge Durango managed to earn a “marginal” rating, while the Dodge Journey only earned a “poor” rating for its front small overlap.

The Ford Explorer earned a “marginal” rating for its front small overlap and was unavailable for head restraint and seat testing.

Testing Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

If the vehicle can avoid collisions altogether, its passengers would only have to rely on the vehicle’s crashworthiness as a last resort. This section of the IIHS/HDLI’s testing makes sure that each vehicle’s front crash prevention and headlights are up to par.

The Ford Flex, Edge, and Explorer all earned the “basic” rating for their front crash prevention with optional equipment. The Dodge Durango received the same rating with optional equipment and a further indication that the auto brake was not tested.

The Dodge Journey was listed as unavailable for front crash prevention. For their headlights, the Ford Edge, Explorer, and Dodge Journey all earned “poor” ratings. The other two vehicles both earned “marginal” ratings, but the Ford Flex’s ratings were earned for only certain trims.

Testing Child Seat Anchors

Instead of driving a minivan, many parents turn to midsize SUVs as a more stylish alternative to transport their children.

If you have very small children and need to install car seats in the back seat, you should pay close attention to this category because it focuses on how easy it is to do so. 

Most vehicles are required by law to have two or more rear seats with full Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, which is commonly referred to as LATCH.

The Ford Flex, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango all earned all “acceptable” ratings for their child seat anchors. The Dodge Journey was the only vehicle to receive a “marginal” rating for its LATCH.

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Earning a Top Safety Pick Award

Vehicles with outstanding safety ratings have the chance to earn a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS/HDLI. When they give a vehicle this award, it proves that they are among the safest vehicles that you could possibly by.

They offer both Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards for vehicles that are top off the line in safety features. Unfortunately, none of Ford or Dodge midsize SUVs managed to obtain one of these awards from the IIHS/HDLI.

Which is safer?

All of the vehicles received fairly similar ratings, but the Dodge fell short by just a bit.

The Dodge Journey earned the most “poor” and “marginal” ratings compared to the other vehicles and it failed to provide any kind of front crash prevention safety features.

It was also the only vehicle to earn a rating that was less than “acceptable” for child seat anchors. The Ford Edge and Dodge Durango practically matched each other with their ratings although the Ford Explorer fell short.

The Ford Flex set the bar for all of them, which is the main reason why Ford produces safer midsize SUV options than Dodge.

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