Although the Wrangler may be the most iconic Jeep, that’s not the only car or SUV the brand offers. There’s the subcompact Renegade, the compact Cherokee and Compass, the mid-size Grand Cherokee, and the Gladiator pickup. But while off-road SUVs and cars are popular nowadays, many buy 3-row SUVs for space and the perception of safety. So, how does Jeep do when it comes to a third row and airbags?
Which Jeeps have third-row seats?
Unfortunately, as of this writing, there is no Jeep model that has a third row of seats. You can buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 1000 hp, but you can’t get one with a third row.
However, in 2021, Jeep will be unveiling several new models that will offer a third row. Two, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, will be body-on-frame SUVs. The other is an unnamed 3-row crossover that will compete with the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. But, if you want a decent off-road SUV with 3 rows of seats, there are more reliable and more daily-drivable, models available.
The Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro, like the Wrangler, has four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case. The Sequoia TRD Pro also gets Fox shocks, a front skid plate, off-road tires, aluminum BBS wheels, and a TRD exhaust. But on the pavement, the Sequoia is more refined, as it has independent suspension, heated and ventilated leather seats, and LED DRLs and off-road lamps.
But, if you’re after off-road capability and luxury with a third row, the Toyota Land Cruiser makes a fine Jeep Grand Cherokee alternative. It’s one of Toyota’s most reliable, and arguably best, SUVs. It has 4WD with transfer case, adjustable suspension, a disconnecting sway bar, and multiple off-road driving modes. The Land Cruiser also has a locking rear differential and multiple cameras that can pinpoint obstacles on the ground.
Most Jeeps have decent airbag coverage
Although the brand has struggled in the past with some safety tests, overall, Jeep has improved considerably.
Both the 2019 Jeep Cherokee and Renegade are IIHS Top Safety Picks. In addition, the Compass actually out-rated the Renegade in a few areas. In terms of airbags, most Jeep models have 7 or 8 airbags. These include the required front airbags, as well as additional side-impact airbags.
However, there are 2 Jeeps that struggle with both airbag coverage and overall safety.
The problem with the Wrangler and Gladiator
While neither the NHTSA nor IIHS has crash-tested the latest Wrangler or Gladiator, the European version of the NHTSA has. On a scale of 0-5 stars, the Wrangler got 1 star. There was one truck that got 0 stars, but that was a truck that had no airbags at all. The Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator do have airbags, but only at the front. Because they both have removable doors, they’re exempt from side-impact testing. Hence, Jeep doesn’t have to give them side airbags.
And it’s not as if the previous-gen Wrangler wasn’t particularly safe, either. The IIHS gave that Wrangler a headlight and side-impact result of ‘poor.’ The only ‘acceptable’ result was from the moderate front overlap test. When it comes to safety, there are better family SUVs.
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