Are Jeeps Still “Easy to Flip?”

When I was looking at first cars in the 90’s the Wrangler always seemed like a fun teenagers vehicle to me but I shied away from them because of the rumors that they were extremely easy to flip and prone to rollover. Is this the case still? Was it ever the case? Are there any statistics that show that Jeep Wranglers are any more prone to rollover than say… Ford Explorers? Nissan Xterra?

Edit: I also wanted to know about side-impact in the event of an accident when you have your doors off and get t-boned. These guys (wranglerforums) offer some pretty good advice to a kid who asked on their forums about riding with the doors off. One member said that “they test them with the doors off.. ” but I know for a fact that’s not true because I happened to see the side-impact review on that said “During the crash, the driver door opened. This opening didn’t significantly affect dummy movement during the test but shouldn’t happen because, in some crashes, it could allow partial or complete occupant ejection, especially if the occupant is unbelted. This door opening resulted in a structure rating downgrade from good to acceptable.” They did however offer the advice of installing side rocker guards on for increased side-impact durability. “Rockers to add some strength to the side of the tub if that is his concern, and IMO, offer a better structural piece than the doors do.” (as seen on THIS picture – the tubes look pretty tough).

Edit 2: USA Today has a good insight into the rollover risks of Wranglers and competing SUVs.

In NHTSA testing, no SUV has earned a top five-star rating. Under the ratings system, a vehicle with five stars has a rollover risk of less than 10%. A four-star vehicle has a 10% to 20% risk and a three-star vehicle has a 20% to 30% risk.

Newly tested 2007 SUVs receiving the four-star rating include: Infiniti FX35, Mazda CX-7, Ford Edge and Explorer Sport Trac, Hyundai Santa Fe and Veracruz, Jeep Compass, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Volkswagen Touareg, Acura MDX and RDX, Suzuki XL7, and Saturn Outlook.

The 4X4 version of the Kia Sportage and the 4X2 version of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited also earned four stars. Test results were carried over for vehicles that were unchanged from the previous model year.”

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