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

Ford and Jeep Midsize SUV Safety Rating comparison aren't great — both have poor safety ratings for their midsize SUVs. Due to both Jeep and Ford receiving low safety ratings, insurance rates will be higher. Safety upgrades can lower your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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...

  • Both Ford and Jeep now have manufacturing plants in other countries around the globe
  • A safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety impacts the cost of insurance
  • Neither Ford nor Jeep made the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKS list in the midsize SUV category in 2017

Although both Fords and Jeeps are now being manufactured in other countries and on other continents, we still see them as American-made automobiles.

That is just one of many reasons why so many people in the market for a midsize SUV may be considering a Ford Flex or a Jeep Cherokee. In any case, we still think of both manufacturers as American.

For those who want to keep jobs at home, it may come as a major disappointment that both companies have now gone global.

Even so, safety should always be a prime consideration when shopping for a new vehicle. Safety is, in fact, especially important in an SUV because larger vehicles are prone to potential safety issues not inherent in smaller, lower-profile automobiles.

So, is Ford’s safety rating for midsize SUVs better than Jeep’s? Let’s take a look at what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has to say about it.

Also, you should see how car insurance quotes differ between the two makes. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool to get started!

How IIHS Safety Ratings Affect Your Insurance

Do you know why a safety rating issued by the IIHS is so important? You may be surprised to learn that a vehicle’s safety affects you in two very important ways. Of course, you know that your life and the lives of your passengers could be at risk in an unsafe vehicle.

However, did you know that an unsafe vehicle has a direct impact on the cost of car insurance? Safety and cost are two very big factors to keep in mind.

Alongside safety, there are other factors which can affect cost and the availability of car insurance. These factors include:

  • Location
  • Age and years of driving experience
  • Driving record of anyone to be insured on the policy
  • History of claims
  • Your credit*
  • Previous coverage, especially continuous coverage without lapses
  • Type of vehicle in question
  • Intended use
  • Projected annual mileage
  • Coverage you intend to carry with accompanying deductibles

So then, the type of vehicle you drive has a direct relationship to the coverage and cost of car insurance. That safety rating is of vital importance. Now, it’s time to look at which midsize SUV has a better rating, Ford or Jeep.

* A few states prohibit credit scores from affecting insurance rates because it is considered to be a discriminatory practice.

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How does the IIHS calculate safety ratings?

Although there are other entities that rate, rank, and compare automobiles, insurers in the United States rely most heavily on IIHS safety ratings.

This group of professionals has been evaluating the safety of vehicles to be insured in the United States since the 1950s and have developed a scientific method that evolves alongside technology.

The ultimate goal is to educate consumers and to advise insurers as to the insurability of any given vehicle based on safety risks.

There are three main areas of focus, with each category being broken down into segments as follows.


This portion of the test seeks to establish how well a vehicle performs in the event of a crash. A series of accidents is simulated in which the vehicle being tested impacts a barrier at a given rate of speed.

Major areas of concern are the front small and moderate overlap tests. Possible grades are Good (G), Acceptable (A), Marginal (M), or Poor (P).

This year, neither Ford nor Jeep did very well because neither manufacturer had a vehicle that rated Good across the board. Midsize SUVs being rated this year from these two manufacturers included:

  • Ford Flex
  • Ford Edge
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler

The only vehicle to score a G on either the front small or moderate overlap test was the Jeep Wrangler, but unfortunately, that vehicle didn’t fare so well in other areas of the Crashworthiness series of testing.

As a result, none of these five vehicles made it to the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK + awards.

Crash Avoidance & Mitigation

This portion of the testing conducted by the IIHS weighs heavily on technology. There are two separate components of the Crash Avoidance & Mitigation testing which include:

  • Front Crash Prevention – Will receive a score of G, A, M or P.
  • Headlights – Graded as Superior, Acceptable or Basic.

The institute looks at the technology that warns of an impending crash in the first segment of the test, and after that, they will look at headlight illumination on straight and curved roadways.

Crash Avoidance & Mitigations scores issued this year were:

  • Ford Flex – Basic and M
  • Ford Edge – Basic and P
  • Jeep Cherokee – Superior and A
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – Basic and A
  • Jeep Wrangler – N/A and P

Although the Jeep Cherokee appears to have done best in this series of testing, it did not do very well in the more important tests mentioned above. Remember, the IIHS places the greatest weight on front impact Crashworthiness.


LATCH is an acronym for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. The institute looks at hardware for attaching child seats and awards a grade of G, A, M, or P. Ease of use is of vital importance.

Unfortunately, neither manufacturer fared well in the LATCH test for midsize SUVs. They were rated as follows:

  • Ford Flex – A
  • Ford Edge – A
  • Jeep Cherokee – A
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – M
  • Jeep Wrangler – M

When it comes to your child’s safety, Acceptable and Marginal just aren’t good enough! There must be safer midsize SUVs on the market.

Are there safer midsize SUVs than Ford or Jeep?

If you are looking for a midsize SUV that rated well on all tests, you might want to look at this year’s TOP SAFETY PICKS +.

The top five are Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot.

A top-rated vehicle poses less risk which can result in lower insurance premiums. You may be remembering a time when SUVs were found to be more at risk of rolling over in an accident.

However, newer technology along with improvements in design have made SUVs the least likely to roll over during a crash.

You may be partial to Fords or Jeeps, but safety should always take precedence. Keep this in mind when shopping for a new model midsize SUV.

Enter your zip code into our free rate tool below to find the best price for the car insurance coverage you need.

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