The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that Top Safety status applies only to Jeep Cherokees built after April 2019. - Photo courtesy of IIHS. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that Top Safety status applies only to Jeep Cherokees built after April 2019.

Photo courtesy of IIHS. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recognized the 2019 Jeep Cherokee with a Top Safety Pick Award when the vehicle is outfitted with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights.

The Institute notes that Top Safety status applies only to Jeep Cherokees built after April 2019.

Re-engineered and restyled for the 2019 model year, the midsize SUV was put through the paces by IIHS engineers. It performed well in six crashworthiness evaluations, scoring good ratings across the board. These included the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraint tests, and passenger-side small overlap front test.

Noteworthy, earlier Jeep Cherokee models earned only a marginal rating in the driver-side small overlap front test and were never evaluated in the passenger-side test.

For 2019, Jeep modified the A-pillars, front door-hinge pillars, and doorsills to provide better protection in moderate and small overlap crashes. A change to the driver seat belt in vehicles built after April 2018 was aimed at adding further protection in small overlap crashes.

However, to capture a Top Safety Pick award a vehicle must also earn an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and be equipped with acceptable or good headlights.

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee lived up to both criteria. The SUV’s optional front crash prevention system earns a superior rating, as its auto brake system successfully avoided collisions in both the 12 and 25 mph IIHS track tests.

As for headlights, Cherokees built after April 2019 that are equipped with optional high-beam assist—a system that automatically switches between high beams and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles—earn an acceptable headlight rating. Acceptable headlights were the final element needed for the SUV to garner Top Safety Pick status.

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