Which Is Safer: 2021 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2021 Ford Expedition

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Both the 2021 Chevy Suburban and the 2021 Ford Expedition have appealing qualities: they’re large SUVs capable of carrying a big family or a small sports team, with plenty of cargo space to spare. Yet car buyers need to know more than how many DVD players are built into the roof. Safety ratings are a major concern for most shoppers. So which is safer, the 2021 Chevy Suburban or the 2021 Ford Expedition?

A 2021 Chevrolet Suburban | Chevrolet

What’s great about the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban?

The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking for the city, and pedestrian detection. An optional automatic braking system for the highway lets your Chevy Suburban slow down even at higher speeds, which is key if you’re barreling down the highway and need to stop suddenly. The Chevrolet Suburban also has optional lane departure warning and keeping assist. 

Not being able to see behind the vehicle is one of the biggest dangers of owning a large SUV. The 2021 Chevy Suburban has an optional rear traffic crossing warning and a blind spot warning. It comes standard with a rear view camera, which should be thought of as an assistant to looking behind you, and not a replacement. 

As far as airbags, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban has standard front side airbags, which protect the torso (but not always the head) in event of an accident. Additionally, it has side curtain airbags standard with rollover, which drop down from above the windows. Not only do curtain airbags protect passengers’ heads, they may also help keep people from being ejected from the car by staying deflated longer.

What does the NHTSA think of the 2021 Chevy Suburban?

RELATED: The Chevy Suburban May Outlast the Ford Expedition

The overall crash, overall frontal-crash and overall frontal-crash passenger scores for the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban were pretty good, at four out of five stars. On the driver side, the overall frontal-crash score was excellent, at five out of five stars. 

The overall side crash, overall side-crash driver, and overall side-crash passenger ratings were also excellent, at five out of five stars. The side pole-crash rating, which measures how well a car does sliding sideways into a pole at 20 MPH was also fantastic at five stars. 

Large SUVs are known for being more inclined to rollover. The NHTSA tested the likelihood of the 2021 Chevy Suburban doing that. Both the 2WD and 4WD Suburban scored three out of five stars.

So what about the Ford Expedition?

A 2021 Ford Expedition sits on farmland with cows and a farmer in the background.
2021 Ford Expedition | Ford

The 2021 Chevy Suburban’s safety ratings are pretty good, but how do they compare to the 2021 Ford Expedition? Which is really the safest large SUV?

The 2021 Ford Expedition comes standard with forward collision warning and automatic braking for both the city and highway, while the automatic braking on the highway was only optional for the Suburban. Pedestrian detection is also standard in the 2021 Ford Expedition, as is lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and blind spot warning. 

The 2021 Ford Expedition also offers standard front side airbags as well as head protection standard with rollover. 

Well, what does the NHTSA think of the 2021 Ford Expedition?

Safety ratings for the 2021 Ford Expedition are very similar to the 2021 Chevy Suburban, except in one area: the overall frontal-crash passenger score for the Ford Expedition is five stars, while the Chevy Suburban has four stars. This gives the 2021 Ford Expedition an edge, though a slight one, over the Chevrolet Suburban. All other crash test ratings are the same, as well as the rollover ratings. 

So which large SUV is safer, the 2021 Chevy Suburban or the 2021 Ford Expedition?

The safest large SUV, a Ford Expedition, sits in front of the ocean while a man takes photos.
A 2021 Ford Expedition | Ford

If you go by the numbers, the 2021 Ford Expedition is slightly safer than the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban. Taken into account with the road test, predicted reliability, and predicted owner satisfaction, and Consumer Reports agrees that the 2021 Ford Expedition is a better choice this year.  

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