GMC vs Dodge Midsize SUV Safety Rating Comparison: Who Comes Out On Top?

GMC midsize SUV safety ratings were better than Dodge safety ratings when comparing the GMC Acadia to the Dodge Durango and Journey. Due to GMC midsize SUVs scoring higher than Dodge midsize SUVs they will generally have lower insurance rates. GMC midsize SUV safety ratings for the Acadia earned the Top Safety Pick award.

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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...

  • The 2017 Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey ranked in the bottom half of the list of IIHS safety test results for midsize SUVs
  • The 2017 GMC Acadia and GMC Terrain ranked in the top half of this list
  • SUV buyers should not assume that all safety ratings for all midsize SUVs are similar simply because the vehicles are in the same class or have seemingly similar designs and features


If you feel torn between buying one of the new Dodge midsize SUVs or one of the new GMCs in this vehicle class, you are not alone. Between the incredible features and impressive style that these vehicles are known for, you may not be certain how to finalize your buying decision.

One important factor to review before buying any vehicle is safety ratings.

Through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety test results published annually, you can learn more about how safe each of the Dodge and GMC SUVs is to drive regularly.

Many buyers who are interested in either a Dodge Durango, a Dodge Journey, a GMC Acadia, or a GMC Terrain may simply make the common assumption that safety capabilities between these SUV models are close enough that they do not need to analyze test results.

However, if you spend a few minutes today reviewing test results for eight categories that have been analyzed by the IIHS, you may see just how different the safety capabilities of these four vehicles are. Make sure to compare rates with our free quote tool above! 

GMC Midsize SUV Safety Ratings Versus Dodge Ratings

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With nearly two dozen different midsize SUV models to choose from for 2017, you may have carefully narrowed down your options to the Dodge and GMC models.

As impressive as each of these vehicles is in various areas, be aware that ratings for some of the eight IIHS tested areas are substantially different.

You understandably want to keep yourself and your loved ones as safe as possible each time you hop in your vehicle, so comparing the safety test scores is essential.

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Three IIHS Safety Areas

Through an analysis of the three primary safety areas of LATCH, crashworthiness, and crash avoidance, you can understand each of these SUV’s strengths and weaknesses in safety tests.

  • Crashworthiness – There are five tests in the crashworthy area, and these explore how protective the SUV is of occupants in a collision situation
  • Crash Avoidance  This group has two tests take a closer look at capabilities for an SUV to reduce the severity or incidence of collisions altogether
  • LATCH  This test reviews how easy it may be to correctly install a child safety seat in the SUV

To summarize test results concisely for easier analysis, you will find that one of the tests is scored on a scale from “superior” down to “basic.” The remaining seven IIHS safety tests are scored on a scale from “good” down to “poor.”

Crashworthiness: Helping Passengers Stay Safe

To determine how crashworthy a vehicle is, the IIHS runs tests for Roof Strength, Front Marginal Overlap, Side, Front Small Overlap, and Head Restraints and Seats tests.

In the Front Small Overlap test, the Durango received a “marginal” rating, and the Journey received a “poor” rating. These two Dodge SUVs received a “good” test score for the other five crashworthy tests.

Both of the GMC SUVs analyzed in this vehicle class received the highest marks possible for all five of the tests performed.

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Crash Avoidance and Mitigation: Responding to Possible Collisions

Through an analysis of the Front Crash Prevention test and the Headlights test, you can see if a vehicle can effectively respond in a safe manner to a pending collision.

The 2017 Dodge Journey did not get tested in the Front Crash Prevention area, and the Durango and Terrain only earned a “basic” score. The Acadia, on the other hand, was given the highest test score possible in this critical area.

The Acadia and Durango were given a Headlights test result of “marginal.” The Terrain and Journey received a “poor” score for this test.

LATCH: Securing Car Seats Correctly

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In order for your young passengers to be secured in a car seat, the car seat must be correctly installed.

Using the anchors correctly is analyzed in the LATCH test, and the Dodge Journey received a “marginal” score in this test in 2017. The other three vehicles received a slightly better score of “average” when reviewed in the LATCH test.

Special Safety Recognition from the IIHS

The highest safety recognition honor given to vehicles in this class is the Top Safety Pick+ award, and the second highest honor is Top Safety Pick.

None of these four models from GMC or Dodge were awarded the highest honor, but the GMC Acadia was a recipient of the 2017 Top Safety Pick recognition.

In order to obtain this award, the Acadia had to get better scores in the areas of Headlights and crashworthiness.

The importance of safety ratings for your next vehicle cannot be undermined, and the two GMC models clearly ranked higher in many safety areas than the GMC models.

Another important area to analyze before you buy your next SUV is auto insurance.

Rates can vary based on numerous factors, and the only way to determine which of these four SUVs may have more affordable rates is to request online quotes today with our free quote tool below! 

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