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When you’re shopping for a new SUV for your teen driver, safety is probably a priority. After all, teenage drivers are inexperienced and have higher crash rates than adults. That’s why it’s important to use reputable resources when choosing your teens vehicle. Luckily, the insurance Institute for Highway safety and consumer reports have put out a list of the best new vehicles for teens. What two SUVs aren’t on there? The 2022 Jeep grand Cherokee and 2022 Dodge Durango. Are they good cars? Let’s take a look at why these two SUVs miss the safety mark when it comes to being good enough for your kids.

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee pulling a trailer
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is not a good car for teens

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is stylish, sporty, and comfortable. Yet you won’t find the new Grand Cherokee on the IIHS and Consumer Reports’ list of the best new vehicles for teens. That’s because of its safety ratings. 

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s overall evaluation is only marginal. Its structure and safety cage rating is just marginal. The passenger side of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee isn’t that safe either. The passenger injury measures lower leg/foot rating is only marginal while the driver restraints and dummy kinematics rating is acceptable. It’s also important to take note of the airbags’ performance. The IIHS says, “The side curtain airbag deployed but does not have sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with forward side structure and outside objects.”

The passenger side of the Grand Cherokee is even worse

The passenger side of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a poor overall evaluation and a marginal structure and safety cage. The passenger injury measures head/neck gets an acceptable rating, while the lower leg/foot gets a poor rating. Even worse, the passenger restraints and dummy kinematics rating for the passenger side has a poor rating. The IIHS notes that while the frontal airbag stayed in front of the dummy, “However, the side curtain airbag did not deploy and the front passenger door opened during the crash, which shouldn’t happen because the passenger could be partly or completely ejected from the vehicle. In fact during rebound, the dummy’s head moved outside the vehicle, leaving the head vulnerable to contact with side structure and outside objects.”

The moderate-overlap crash test ratings are good, but with the other results being not-so-great, this is likely not an SUV you’ll want to buy for your teen. The moderate-overlap crash test measures how well a vehicle would do in “a frontal offset crash between two vehicles of the same weight, each going just under 40 mph.”

In addition, the original side crash test results are good. Unfortunately, the headlights are also not that great. There are three available headlights for the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and while one is acceptable, the other two are poor. This is important because more than half of fatal car accidents happen at night, and headlights can help prevent an accident.

The 2022 Dodge Durango isn’t safe enough for your teen

The 2022 Dodge Durango was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and it doesn’t hold any safety awards. The IIHS gives out a Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ award and the Durango falls short of both of these. It has a marginal small overlap test on the driver side, though the other categories that have been rated by the IIHS have good scores. Its safety systems haven’t been rated yet.

The 2022 Dodge Durango has a poor rating for the structure and safety cage as well as the lower leg/foot. The driver restraints and dummy kinematics score is just acceptable.

In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it just four out of five stars for its overall crash, overall frontal-crash, and overall frontal-crash, driver and passenger side tests. It also gets a less-than-optimal three out of five stars for its 4WD rollover rating.

Is the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee a good car? Is the 2022 Dodge Durango? They both certainly have their benefits, yet to say that they are good SUVs may not be accurate, at least if you’re talking about for your teen driver. The safety ratings of the Grand Cherokee and the Durango each make these questionable SUVs for your new driver.


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