Jeep Wrangler Gets Tired During IIHS Small-Overlap Crash Testing, Lies Down For A Quick Nap

Morning Dump Jeep Wrangler Rollover

The Jeep Wrangler rolls again in crash testing, Acura collaborates with Vince Staples on Integra ads, Mercedes-Benz launches a new GLC. All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

The 2022 Jeep Wrangler Is Still Tippin’

Alright, I’ll confess: Vehicles don’t really get tired during crash testing, but that didn’t stop the 2022 Jeep Wrangler from rolling onto its side in the latest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety small-overlap test.

Believe it or not, this is the third time the current JL Jeep Wrangler has rolled during IIHS small-overlap crash testing. The first time was in 2020, which raised some eyebrows over at Jeep’s headquarters. According to the IIHS, “Fiat Chrysler questioned whether this outcome was related to the method that IIHS engineers had used to attach the vehicle to the crash propulsion system.” Fiat Chrysler then gave the IIHS a different attachment method to use, and guess what happened? Surprise surprise, the Wrangler rolled in the second test.

Jeep’s engineers then went back to the drawing board and made some structural modifications. Evidently, these modifications don’t seem to have worked. As it stands, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler receives a Marginal rating from the IIHS in small-overlap impact testing, one step up from the Institute’s lowest rating of poor. Hey, at least the safety cage seems to have protected occupants well.

Ford Plans To Go Online-Only For EV Sales

Ford Mustang Mach E GT pulling a drift
Photo credit: Ford

Supply chain shortages and the resulting markups on new cars have proved disastrous for consumers. Add in the costs of marketing and keeping vehicles on a lot, combine with reduced aftersales revenue for electric vehicles, and direct sales start to make a lot more sense for both consumers and manufacturers. Ford certainly seems to be taking notes for future EV sales. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford CEO Jim Farley said during Bernstein’s 38th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, “We’ve got to go to non-negotiated price. We’ve got to go 100 percent online. There’s no inventory (at dealerships), it goes directly to the consumer. And 100 percent remote pickup and delivery.”

From the sounds of it, Ford’s proposed model sounds a lot like Genesis’ Canadian sales model. If you buy a new Genesis in Canada, concierge, arranged delivered test-drives, filing financing documents, and at-home delivery options for a new car happen online, but some of the groundwork like servicing and pre-delivery inspection prep happens at dealerships. It’s a nifty method that helps mitigate the pain of dealer-to-dealer trading by pulling from a nationwide pool of vehicles and aims to prevent consumers from getting shafted by nonsense add-ons like dentless paint removal and TruCoat. Here’s hoping that Ford gets direct-to-consumer sales up and running shortly, especially in a market with such scarcity.

Acura Taps Vince Staples For Integra Ads

Is it just me, or have car ads been generally quite boring recently. Most TV spots either have a plotline to follow where the car comes secondary, or they just feature glossy studio shots and a backing track that was big several years ago. Thankfully, Acura still seems to know how to make a car commercial.

To launch the new Integra, Acura’s teamed up with rapper and singer Vince Staples for three 30-second TV spots, all of which feature fun visuals and backing tracks from Staples’ new album Ramona Park Broke My Heart. Honestly, the collaboration feels like a solid fit. “Acura has strong roots in the South Bay and growing up I remember going to see the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, so teaming up for this launch felt really authentic and was a fun creative experience for me,” said Staples in a press release. As for the ads themselves, Slide has some sick tracking shots and a handful of sweet J-turns, Lemonade shows what seems to be a really fun day hanging out, while Magic is a surreal spot featuring a floating Integra and several clones of Vince Staples just kicking back and relaxing. Good stuff.

While I’m a bit cautious about the Integra’s chances of success, these ads are actually visually-interesting and Ramona Park Broke My Heart is a pretty fire album, so I’m pretty stoked to see this collaboration. More importantly, this marketing campaign really nails the concept that cars are supposed to be fun.

The New Mercedes-Benz GLC Seems Just The Right Size For The Starbucks Drive-Thru

2023 Mercedes Benz Glc 1
Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz

Look, I could watch an Integra doing J-turns all day, but reality usually involves being stuck in traffic behind a compact luxury crossover. BMW’s recently facelifted the X3, Porsche’s updated the Macan, Audi gave the Q5 a nip-tuck last year, now it’s Mercedes-Benz’s time to shine with a new GLC.

The new GLC is a critical product for Mercedes-Benz, so the German brand’s elected to not mess with the exterior design too much. It’s all-new yet evolutionary at the same time, adopting wider chrome bumper trims, new lights, and a new grille with a single horizontal bar while maintaining a familiar silhouette. Sure, the new GLC is 2.36 inches (60 mm) longer than the old one, but width is unchanged and wheelbase gets stretched by a paltry 0.59 inches (15 mm). Nothing revolutionary here.

2023 Mercedes Benz Glc 2
Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz

Indeed, revolution seems saved for the interior and chassis. Let’s start with the cabin. The dreaded central trackpad is gone, replaced with a driver-oriented version of Mercedes’ latest portrait-style touchscreen. Perhaps more importantly, the center dashboard vents aren’t the bin lid-looking vents from the S-Class. Squircle vents and loads of French stitching actually look pretty good, plus Mercedes’ killer ambient lighting is on full display. Under the skin, European-market GLCs offer optional 4.5-degree four-wheel-steering for increased low-speed maneuverability and high-speed stability. Mercedes isn’t offering this system in the states which seems like a bit of a shame. However, an updated two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the GLC 300 launch model gains an electric motor between the compressor and turbine wheels on the turbocharger, helping add a 22 lb.-ft. boost in torque to 295. That’s pretty competitive with the BMW X3.

Expect plug-in hybrid versions of the GLC to come after launch, with the initial GLC 300 variant going on sale for the 2023 model year. Honestly, Mercedes-Benz is going to see a ton of leasing customers for these things, and we’ll see them in every school run lineup and posh grocery store parking lot across the country.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Friday everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts the other day, we forgot to feed our imaginary hosting Capybara. Hank gets a bit angry when he’s hungry and wreaks havoc on uploads sometimes. Anyway, what automotive adventures are you up to this weekend? There’s a chance I’ll be helping a friend rescue a vintage car from bylaw enforcement’s wrath. Fucking NIMBYs, am I right?

Lead photo credit: IIHS

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47 Responses

  1. The Jeep seems to be working almost as expected.

    Aren’t Jeeps supposed to climb over any obstacle. The only thing I see here is the need for more suspension articulation to get over that barrier. That and not to lose the wheel doing it.

  2. “In the event of a frontal collision, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler uses advanced chassis control to propel the occupants a safe distance from the other vehicle before it explodes. It also uses active rotation to shield the occupants from said explosion with the underside of the Jeep.”

    Marketing spin FTW.

  3. I am waiting on the legal firestorm that the Dealer’s lobbying group is going to generate. It was one thing for Tesla, that had no existing dealership network, to try to sell online. Either there is some major part of Ford’s “online sales” plan that is not being told or it is the quiet before the storm.

    Waiting for the bombastic prophesying statements about consumer’s blood will flow in the streets because they don’t have local car dealers protecting them from the mean manufacturers.

    1. Back in the days of TARP, I’d bought a GTI from a local VW dealer. About a month after my purchase, I started getting spammed with breathless all caps on American flag background emails from the Ford dealership owned by the same group, a business I had never set foot in and couldn’t find on a map. Apparently it was my PATRIOTIC DUTY to write my senators to DEMAND that their franchise be preemptively spared the dealer network downsizing that was rumored at the time because of JOBS and CUSTOMER CHOICE and other such things.

      As a call to action, it worked. I’ve never hit an unsubscribe button harder or faster, and haven’t darkened any of their group’s doorways since

      1. that’s it exactly, Ford Blue is their existing dealer network, selling ICE and ICE hybrid vehicles, Ford E is their new electric vehicle division to sell pure electrics, now with direct sales. They’re going the Japanese route of having separate sales channels with different product lines under the same brand name instead of different marques. Whether that’s really going to work here or not probably will wind up in courts, depends on how the franchise agreements are phrased – eg, does it give the dealer exclusive right to sell any vehicles with “Ford” branding or some variation of “Ford” branding within a designated territory? At one time, that’s exactly why Ford Canada resorted to creating the Monarch and Meteor brands to boost sales in rural areas. Lincoln-Mercury dealers couldn’t just sell Fords, since that would conflict with existing Ford franchise agreements in urban areas where both sales channels were represented, so they got Meteor instead. Ford dealers couldn’t just start selling Mercuries, since that would overlap with Lincoln-Mercury dealers in urban places, so they got Monarch.

  4. Had a friend whose Wrangler got flipped (and totaled) by an idiot in a Malibu doing 45mph into the parking lot (shockingly NOT for a Cars and Coffee event). The Malibu wedged its nose right under the rear quarter and the Jeep just popped right over. Scary stuff as my friend was pregnant at the time but all ended well, she and baby were fine and she got a fancy new Grand Cherokee to replace the wrangler (until that one was also “ruined” a few months later in a freak hailstorm…).

    1. Only so much you can do about jackasses and wrecks like that when your design priority is ground clearance. Shove a lifting force under a frame rail regardless of the car, there’s really nothing the car can do but go along for the ride. The Wrangler has a very well designed safety cage for exactly that reason. It’s also why there’s strict regulations regarding how much weight the roof MUST be able to bear that apply to every car.

      1. Here… is where I see is the problem:
        The barrier comes along and scrapes the side of the wrangler off… right up against the wall of the Motor. It takes off the entire suspension, fucks up the hood, front clip a bit. No intrusion into the engine cavity.. and meets the A pillar and over she goes.

        Im willing to bet.. that any other suv / cuv would take a hit to the motor end at the A pillar pivot around the intrusion at the motor and park itself right where it landed.

        In short…
        I think the side rail and or IIHS got into a fight ending with each other saying the other is at fault.. and a coupla LOUD FUCK YOU’s and thats it.

        WHEN in fact.. if they had done this amicably, one of the two would take the hit.. admitting to being a fucking asshole. Park themselves on the Sofa.. the other might come and sit down. Their might be some make up sex.. but that be it.

  5. “Anyway, what automotive adventures are you up to this weekend?”

    One of the coolest pandemic inventions that seems to have stuck around is the “car parade” past a kid’s house for their birthday. A local group of us exotic car owners is doing this tomorrow for a local little guy who is supposedly obsessed with cars.

    I’d encourage anyone who is willing and able to do things like this in their community to do so. You certainly don’t need an exotic car to do so, some of the biggest smiles on the kid’s faces are from some of the cars we might consider the humblest. I also clearly remember moments where older people shared their car enthusiasm with me when I was a kid, and I think paying that forward is one of the very best things we can do to keep younger people interested in our hobby.

    1. Good on ya, mate!
      No, seriously; that’s great that you do that. I hope there’s some weirdness in the parade, like a former circle-track Bobcat, or a StreetFreak Chevette, or some such.

      Fly your gearhead flag high & proud-and never miss a chance to indoctrinate the little ‘uns!

  6. Someday, God willing, we’re all going to look back at these interiors with screens mounted (crookedly? I can’t quite figure out what’s going on with that center screen) everywhere and laugh at how bad they were.

    1. I agree. That new Mercedes interior – with its glossy plastic dash and center console, and the backward-tilted center screen – seem perfectly set up to direct any and all sun reflections into the driver’s eyes. Ouch!

    1. considering the malls are all but closed, they should really just raze the buildings and make an off road track where they were. then let the stock jeeps wave at each other and perhaps throw ducks while the modded ones drive around trying to break something.

  7. Not really car-related, but we already put a new transmission on the old SCAG 36 walk-behind commercial mower I use (yes, it’s a little overkill, but I love it). It is far easier to use now.

    I’ll probably drive the Mustang up to visit my parents later today. I guess I could check the oil in it, just so I can say I did something car-related besides driving from one place to another lol.

    1. I love overkill.
      I have to do the break-in oil change for my JD X570 this week.
      I own a quarter acre. I do my neighbor’s quarter acre and my rec association’s acre-ish.
      I love it and don’t care.

  8. I’m kind of surprised at the “meh – high ground clearance” reaction to the fact that the Wrangler flips during the small overlap test. Clearly other manufacturers of similar vehicles (Toyota 4-Runner, Nissan Pathfinder, etc.) have figured out how to construct their vehicles so that they don’t flip over during this test. Sure, they don’t always score well, but none of the others flip over. Seems like Jeep should be able to figure this out.

    1. Well, the Pathfinder is a unibody croimpact.

      But the main difference between Wrangler and it’s competition from Ford and Toyota is the solid front axle. I believe that is responsible for shoving the wheel under the frame which is enough force to propel the vehicle over.

      The Ford Bronco and Toyota 4Runner (as well as the unibody Land Rover Defender) have independent front suspension. If you watch a Bronco go through the same test, the wheel is not forced under the truck during the imapct and does not lead to a tip-over.

    1. [thumbs up emoji]
      Teach ‘em to drive—then teach ‘em to hoon so they grok car control.
      After I was comfortable that my daughter knew the basics, I would take the day off whenever we got more than 3-4” of snow, grab a thermos of hot chocolate, and take her out to play with variable traction. Off-throttle oversteer, straight-up snownuts, and, mainly, the difference between being able to >get< up some speed, and the ability to stop or control the car at speed.

      So, at the beginning of her 3rd semester up in Huntington WV, I get an excited call around 7am one morning. She & her roommates-all swimmers-would go lift weights before practice. At around 5am. “Daddy, DADDY! So it was all black ice this morning and I was creeping like you showed me, but, when I took the turn at the bottom of the hill, Betsy stepped out on me!! The girls were all screamin’ and I KNEW I was gonna hit that parked car, but I heard your voice all calm sayin’ ‘Ok: it stepped out, now whatcha gonna do?’ And I said, ‘Feed it! Feed it, then bring it back!’ So I gave ‘er a little bit & worked it, and SHE CAME BACK!!”

      That’s my girl!

  9. I’m extremely not surprised the Jeep Wrangler still rolls. One, high center of gravity. Two, FCAtlantis apparently fires anyone competent in the FEA department. (FEA = Finite Element Analysis. Think crash-testing with computers. That’s how Shelby crash-tested the Series 1 without destroying a single car.)
    The safety cage can’t yield, because duh. The crumple zone needs to crumple because also, duh. It’s less the wheel folding under propelling the car, and far more the metallurgy and physics of it. Crumple goes squish, then you hit safety cage, all that energy no longer has anywhere else to go. So the car just keeps going. And because the crumple didn’t dissipate enough, or redirected poorly, so that energy gets translated into ‘alley-oop and we’re on the roof.’
    Which is the whole fucking point of FEA. So you can ram a simulated vehicle into a brick wall a hundred times a week and see what parts are too strong, which aren’t strong enough, and what effect changes have on them. The fix literally might be as simple as changing a weld, or adding a deliberate failure point (which directs the energy and force in a specific direction,) or adding an extra chunk of metal to catch. But apparently FCAtlantis would rather sink to the bottom of the sea rather than catch back up to where they were FORTY GODDAMN YEARS AGO. (The K-cars and derivatives being entirely and exclusively designed and tooled in CAD/CAE was absolutely revolutionary at the time.)

    Anyway, what automotive adventures are you up to this weekend?
    Other plans got cancelled due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances. So if the weather holds, hopefully replacing the windshield wiper cowl and an underhood trim piece (yay velcro fail.) Problem is, no garage to work in, and it’s a black car. So if the temperature is any higher than forecast or the pollen count goes up again, at least one if not both of those have to be put off. Again.

    1. I’m going to just drive. In my day job as an HVAC tech doing cell sites, I drop a pin whenever I see a ‘GPS Routing NOT Advised’ sign, then check Maps when I get home. If it’s invitingly jagged, I’ll go check it out stupid early on Sat or Sun to see if it’s any fun.
      I’ve got a couple near the Va/NC border in the queue, and I think they’re gonna be fun. Hell, the main route thru Hillsville could give Tail of the Dragon a run, so I’m betting the backroads will be killer!
      So, if any of y’all down that way see a blue Subaru stuffed backwards into a hedge this weekend, stop & help me out, willya? -I always carry folding money in case I need a pull-out….

    2. Anyway, what automotive adventures are you up to this weekend?

      I’m going to replace the windshield on my ’67 Volvo 122s. It’s so pitted & scratched it’s unsafe to drive at night. Driving towards towards the setting sun is even worse. Fortunately VP Autoparts has them new for $135.00. I’ve never done a windshield before so been watching lots of YouTube videos. Wish me luck!

  10. This collaboration with Vince Staples is certainly working out better than when he teamed up with Office Depot, but name recognition inadvertently drove business in the 18-34 demo to a competing office supply chain.

    1. It’s not. Watch the video. The Jeep doesn’t lift until the barrier impacts the safety cage. The wheel isn’t doing shit – it’s basically being blasted clear. All the lift is from the barrier trying to intrude into the safety cage, the safety cage refusing to yield, and physics taking over. The only route the barrier can take is a lifting edge, which is where the cage directed it.

    2. Also not a Jeep engineer, just regular. I’d agree with that.

      Playing Devil’s Advocate here, there is something kinda strange about the test, but I can’t quite put my finger on it right now.
      I wonder how much of the general shape of the target is to blame. The Small Overlap test is designed to simulate what happens when a car drifts across the center line of the road. Thing is, there’s no car that I know of that has a completely flat front end, a couple of the newer truck lines come close but not quite that far.
      Other cars are also going to have crumple zones.
      I’m sure this has been thought of and there’s data to back up the design of the target, but without seeing any of that it just looks… off.

      1. I’ve always thought the test seems off as well, and not exactly a real work scenario. I think because the barrier is so solid all the way to the ground (unlike any vehicle short of a plow truck) that the barrier sort of shaves into the cars. But maybe that’s to test a worst-case scenario, vs doing the test against a softer mock up to mimic another vehicle.

        I’m also not convinced the wheel isn’t a factor, and it is just the barrier hitting the safety cage, but I’m not here to argue. I love this site and the community and the discussions, and could you imagine The Autopian without any comments or engagement? But back on topic, in the end it’s just a violent messy crash with so much going on so quickly, I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone the high riding Jeep gets knocked over.

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