Is Audi’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Jeep’s?

The Jeep Compass named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, while the Audi Q3 was not. The average cost of SUV auto insurance is 18% higher than normal vehicles.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 1, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The Audi Q3 did not rate a top safety pick award
  • The Jeep Compass is the only one of the four small SUVs from Jeep to rate well in terms of safety
  • The Jeep Renegade, Jeep Wrangler, and Jeep Patriot did not score well in safety testing

Both Audi and Jeep have excellent reputations for various reasons. Audi is a luxury vehicle consumers put on their list of vehicles they want to own. Jeep is a vehicle people want to own simply because of its rugged outdoor capabilities.

Small SUVs from both manufacturers sell regularly, and not just because of their aesthetic appeal. Small SUVs are desirable because of their size, abilities, and the fact they’re fuel-efficient and sizable.

Audi has one small SUV, the Audi Q3, on the market in the small SUV class. Jeep has four vehicles in the small SUV category. The Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Wrangler, and the Jeep Patriot are all in the small SUV class.

Each one is rated for its safety and its accident prevention, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides grades for each vehicle.

These grades are used to help consumers determine which small SUV is safest as well as which one might offer you an insurance discount when you shop around for rates.

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IIHS Ratings

The IIHS spends ample time driving, crashing, and rating all vehicles in every class including the small SUV class. The Jeeps and the Audi found in this class were all rated in three sections.

The crashworthiness section includes the following subcategories each with its own rating:

  • Small Overlap Front
  • Moderate Overlap Front
  • Side Safety
  • Roof Strength
  • Head Restraints and Seats

The crash avoidance and mitigation category includes the following subsections:

  • Front Crash Prevention
  • Headlights

The child seat anchors category only includes the latch.

Each category and its various subcategories are tested, graded, and provided with letter grades to evaluate the safety of the vehicle. There are four-letter grades, and they are not all welcome grades.

  • “G” is the best rating, and it means good
  • “A” is the second-best rating, and it means acceptable
  • “M” is not a good rating, and it means marginal
  • “P” is the worst rating, and it means poor

The only subcategory that does not receive a letter grade is the front crash prevention subcategory. It’s given a score of basic, advanced, or superior. Each of these ratings has a lower level and a higher level.

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Audi vs. Jeep

Of all four of the small SUVs created by Audi and Jeep in 2017, only the Jeep Compass was graded in all categories. The Audi Q3, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Renegade, and Jeep Patriot are each missing ratings in specific categories.

For this reason, only the Jeep Compass is rated a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This means it’s the safest vehicle on this list of small SUVs, though many consumers want to understand the ratings of each vehicle individually.

Audi Q3

The Audi Q3 was not graded in the front crash prevention category. However, it did receive impressive “G” ratings in all the crashworthiness subcategories.

The latch did well with an “A” rating, but the headlights received a “P” rating for their lack of ability to help with crash prevention. This vehicle did not win any IIHS safety pick awards.

Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass is the highest-rated Jeep in terms of safety. It is a Top Safety Pick, which means you’re going to receive insurance discounts thanks to its safety features.

The Compass received a “G” rating in all crashworthiness categories and a high-level superior rating in front crash prevention.

It did not perform well in either the latch or the headlights category. The latch is rated “P” for poor, and the headlights were only rated marginal.


Jeep Patriot

The Patriot was not fully rated. It’s missing the front crash prevention rating, but it didn’t do well as a whole in most other categories. The crashworthiness of this vehicle did not receive five “G” ratings.

The small overlap front brought down its safety ratings with a “P” rating. The headlights also received a poor rating, but the latch did receive an “A” rating.

Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade was not rated in many categories. The small overlap front, the head restraints and seats, and the headlights were not rating. Overall, it did quite well in the categories in which it did receive a rating with the exception of the latch.

The latch received an “M” rating, but the other categories all received a “G” rating. The front crash prevention rating is a high-level advanced rating.

Jeep Wrangler

This Jeep Wrangler model was not tested across the board. Its missing scores on the roof strength, the head restraints and seats, and the front crash prevention. The small overlap front only received an “M” rating.

The moderate overlap front did receive a “G” rating, but the side was issued a “P” rating along with the headlights. The latch is marginal.

What is a Top Safety Pick?

The IIHS rates vehicles based on their safety, and that’s how consumers know which vehicles are best for their families. In addition to providing ample safety for their families, these high-rated vehicles are also less expensive to insure due to the safety features.

It’s why all consumers must mention their safety rating to insurance companies when shopping for rates.

The IIHS requires high ratings in most categories to receive a Top Safety Pick or a Top Safety Pick Plus rating.

For a Top Safety Pick rating, each vehicle must receive all “G” ratings in the crashworthiness category, and it must have an advanced or superior rating in the front crash prevention.

To receive a Top Safety Pick Plus rating, the vehicle must have an “A” or “G” rating in the headlight category.

Should I go for safety over appeal?

It’s a common question many consumers ask. Do you want to go for a vehicle you really want to drive or one that has better safety ratings? It all depends on your needs.

The latch, for example, is not graded because it’s not safe. It’s graded by how easy it is to use. Traditionally, if it’s easier to use, it’s less likely parents will use it incorrectly and keep their kids safer as a result.

Safety should be a priority, but it’s also less expensive to drive a vehicle with a good safety rating. Insurance companies look for these ratings to know what kind of premiums to charge.

When shopping for car insurance, be sure to tell the agent your vehicle has a Top Safety Pick award so you can receive discounts on the price of your premium. Use our FREE tool to compare rates today!

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