Midsize SUVs have mixed small overlap results – IIHS News

Midsize SUVs have mixed small overlap results – IIHS News


The Institute is releasing new small overlap front crash test ratings for seven midsize SUVs. Two vehicles earn a good rating, one is rated acceptable, three are marginal, and one is poor. The small overlap front crash test represents a front crash that almost didn’t occur. Only the front corner of the vehicle crashes against its crash partner, whether that’s another vehicle, a tree, or a pole. About twenty-five percent of the deaths and serious injuries that occur in front crashes among new vehicles are small overlap front crashes. The best performer among these seven SUVs is the redesign 2015 Nissan Murano. This is what we like to see, the occupant compartment held up well keeping intrusion to a minimum, the driver airbag deployed and stayed with the dummy’s head, the side curtain offers adequate protection to keep the dummy’s head safe from contact and side structures and things outside the vehicle. Vehicles earning marginal and poor ratings in the small overlap front crash test won’t protect their occupants in some front crashes. The chief problem is a structure that collapses, which in some cases defeats the airbags ability to protect the driver’s head. The Dodge Journey was the worst performer in this group. The structure collapsed moving the driver airbag out of the path of the driver’s head. The side curtain didn’t deploy so his head was at risk of injury from the structure collapsing around it. The instrument panel moved back toward him as much as 9 inches and so did the parking brake which gashed through the dummy’s leg. The Jeep Wrangler is an unusual case in this group. Even though it earned a good rating in the small overlap front crash test we can’t recommend it. It’s only rated marginal for side crash protection and only rated marginal for whiplash protection and rear crashes plus without a fixed roof it can’t provide good protection in rollover crashes so it’s ineligible for a Top Safety Pick. Folks shopping for a vehicle in this category shouldn’t forget to check the crash ratings not all midsize SUVs offer state-of-the-art crash protection. The good news is more manufacturers are redesigning their products to offer better front crash protection.

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