Is GMC’s safety rating for midsize SUVs better than Ford’s?

GMC and Ford's midsize SUVs both received top safety ratings, but GMC scored higher overall. Save up to 8% on car insurance rates by installing safety features.

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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...

  • While some buyers may assume that safety ratings published by the IIHS for two GMC models and three Ford models in the midsize SUV class would be similar, only a couple models had overall high ratings
  • Of these five SUVs from Ford and GMC, only one model was recognized by the IIHS for exceptional safety test scores
  • GMC models had better safety results in the Front Small Overlap test than the Ford models had

In an effort to help buyers make smarter decisions when buying new vehicles and to help automakers innovate safer models for buyers to choose from, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) regularly tests the safety features and capabilities of vehicles in various classes.

Of the many models analyzed and tested in the midsize SUV class in 2017, you may be most interested in the ratings for the following vehicles:

A test drive of each of these five SUVs may lead you to believe that the safety capabilities and features in these vehicles are similar. After all, you may have a sense of confidence while cruising down the road in these larger vehicles.

This assumption about a vehicle’s safety, however, is not accurate in many cases.

When you spend a few minutes learning more about what the IIHS safety test results indicate for these give vehicles, you can easily see which models could potentially keep you and your loved ones safer on the road.

Compare car insurance quotes for these vehicles to see which one offers the best rates. Enter your zip code above to begin.

IIHS Safety Tests for Ford Versus GMC: Analyzing the Midsize SUV Ratings

All five of these SUV models from Ford and GMC are popular among consumers because of how stylish they look as well as for the overall quality available for the price. However, you should not assume that all aspects of these vehicles are similar.

The IIHS safety tests have determined that their safety capabilities are substantially different in important areas.

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What are the eight IIHS safety tests?

In order to perform a detailed analysis of three safety groups, the IIHS completes eight unique safety tests. These three groups are:

  • Crash Avoidance and Mitigation – Through the two test results for the crash avoidance or mitigation group, automotive buyers can discover if a specific vehicle may have effective features and capabilities necessary to help you avoid being in a crash or to minimize the damage caused by a crash.
  • Crashworthiness – By looking at results for the five crashworthiness tests completed by the IIHS, you can see how well a specific SUV model could prevent accident-related injuries.
  • LATCH for Child Safety Seats – In the LATCH safety group, there is a single test, and this test explores the overall design and functionality of child car seat anchors.

Notably, most of these eight tests are published with a score that spans from “poor” to “good,” but one of the safety tests uses a rating system that spans from “basic” to “superior.”

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Test Results for Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Crash avoidance or mitigation capabilities are determined by the IIHS through the completion of tests for Front Crash Mitigation and Headlights.

A “superior” score was fiven to the Acadia for the Front Crash Prevention test, and the other four SUVs analyzed had a “basic” score.

The Ford Flex and GMC Acadia were given a score of “marginal” in the Headlights test, and the other three vehicles only received a “poor” score for this important test.

SUV Scores for Crashworthiness

SUV crashworthiness is determined through a review of Front Marginal Overlap, Roof Strength, Front Small Overlap, Side, and Head Restraints and Seats tests. For all five tests, the Acadia and Terrain had a “good” score.

The Flex, Edge, and Explorer had a “good” score in the tests for Roof Strength, Side, Head Restraints and Seats, and Front Marginal Overlap. However, for Front Small Overlap, the Flex and Edge received an “average” score, and the Explorer rated “marginal.”

Child Car Seat LATCH Grades

When you have younger kids in your SUV, you should anchor child car seats to the LATCH in your vehicle when possible. Notably, all five of the GMC and Ford SUV models analyzed in 2017 safety tests received a score of “average” for ease of use of the latches.

Top Safety Pick for 2017: GMC Acadia

Solid IIHS test results in the Headlights and give crashworthiness tests are required for a vehicle to be recognized by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick.

The Acadia was given this important honor.

The other four vehicles in this class that were manufactured by GMC and Ford were honored in this way.

As you compare safety ratings from the IIHS for the three Ford SUV models and the two GMC models, you will notice that both the Terrain and Acadia from GMC have higher overall safety ratings than the three Ford models.

The primary difference is in the important Front Small Overlap test. As you focus your attention on safety ratings and other factors that could help you to make an informed SUV buying decision, turn your attention to auto insurance costs.

Spend a few minute today analyzing online auto insurance quotes right here so that you can determine which model is more affordable to insure.

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