Is the 2018 Ford Escape a Death Trap? IIHS Testing Shows it Might Be if You’re the Passenger
Ford’s SUV performed worse than seven similar models, including the Jeep Compass, Chevy Equinox, and GMC Terrainby Kirby, on
The 2018 Ford Escape is, by most accounts, a good crossover. But its safety is being thrown into question after the model received the worst rating among seven small SUVs from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s passenger-side small overlap crash performance. Of all the SUV models that were tested, the Escape turned in the only ’poor’ rating among the group, a stunning grade considering that most of its rivals, including the Jeep Compass, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Terrain, all received ’good’ ratings.
A crash test of the passenger side of the Escape revealed a number of disconcerting things, including intrusion that measured 10 inches at the upper door-hinge pillar, twice the measurement compared to the driver-side test
Well, this isn’t good for the Ford Escape, is it? The IIHS’ test on the Blue Oval’s resident crossover yielded less-than-stellar results, largely due to the belief that the automaker appeared to ignore the passenger side of the Escape when it came to improving structural reinforcements.
According to the agency, a crash test of the passenger side of the Escape revealed a number of disconcerting things, including intrusion that measured 10 inches at the upper door-hinge pillar, twice the measurement compared to the driver-side test. If that’s not bad enough, the passenger door sill was also pushed four inches into the passenger compartment, an indication that if this were a real-world accident, the passenger could suffer injuries to the right hip.
It doesn’t end there. IIHS senior research engineer Becky Mueller commented that the side curtain airbag on the passenger side of the Escape didn’t deploy on impact. “This is not something we expect to see after so many years of crash testing,” she said. “The side curtain airbags should have deployed in these crashes.”
The Escape, for example, posted an ‘acceptable’ rating on the driver’s side and a ‘poor’ rating on the passenger’s side.
The significant disparities in results compared to similar tests done on the driver-side of the vehicle are a few reasons why the IIHS decided to test the passenger side of vehicles. Apparently, the decision to do so came at a good time because a lot of automakers posted worse results on that side of the car compared to the driver’s side. The Escape, for example, posted an ‘acceptable’ rating on the driver’s side and a ‘poor’ rating on the passenger’s side. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, another SUV whose side curtain airbags did not deploy upon impact, posted a ‘marginal’ rating in the passenger-side impact test, worse than the ‘acceptable’ rating it received in the driver-side impact test.
The results of the test and the subsequent ratings given to the Escape is a stark reminder to automakers like Ford that protecting a car’s occupants should not be limited to just the driver. "Manufacturers shouldn’t shortchange protection for front-seat passengers,” Mueller said.
Hopefully, Ford is listening. If it isn’t, it’s going to potentially be in some trouble down the road.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Escape.
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