Only 2 Midsize SUVs Get Top Rating in Crash Tests

Crash Tests Small SUVs
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/APA 2014 Subaru Forester during a front overlap crash test. The Forester was only one of two small SUVs to pass the test.

DETROIT -- Only two of nine midsize SUVs got the highest rating in crash tests done by an insurance industry group.

The Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, both made by General Motors (GM), received the highest "good" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Toyota (TM) Highlander got the second-best "acceptable" rating in tests of 2014 models.

But the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner and Ford (F) Explorer got "marginal" ratings, while the Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot all were rated "poor."

The ratings are based on six crash test measurements done by the institute. Only the Equinox and Terrain got "good" ratings in a front overlap crash that mimics what happens when a car's front corner collides with another vehicle or an object like a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph.

The test, instituted in 2012, is more difficult than the U.S. government's frontal crash test, in which a car strikes a rigid barrier head-on at 35 mph. IIHS says hitting only part of the front end makes it harder for cars to manage the energy from a crash. The test "continues to challenge manufacturers more than a year and a half after its introduction," the institute said in a statement.

The institute uses its crash test scores to prod automakers into adding safety devices or making their cars more crash-resistant.

The institute said the Equinox and Terrain, which are almost identical, were modified by GM in the new model year to strengthen their front structure and door-hinge pillars.
In tests, the Equinox driver's space was well-maintained, and the crash dummy's movement was well-controlled, the institute said.

The institute changed its requirements for vehicles to get the "Top Safety Pick-Plus" designation this year. To earn that, vehicles must get "good" ratings in four crash tests, "good" or "acceptable" in the overlap test, and they must have available a front crash prevention system that either warns the driver of a crash or stops the vehicle with automatic braking.

Of the nine midsize SUVs, only the Equinox and Terrain and the Highlander qualified for "Top Safety Pick-Plus."

The Honda Pilot was the worst performer of the group, largely because the driver's space was seriously compromised in the overlap test, the institute said.

Honda (HMC) said in a statement that with each redesign, the Pilot has been a leader in light-truck safety and driver-assist technologies "and we are committed that it will continue to do so in the future."

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Well, now we know Government Motors cars are Good at something: Crashing!

April 08 2014 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to oldtexx's comment

LOL! If you're driving one of these you'll at least be safe when you crash into a tree because the defective ignition switch malfunctioned.

April 08 2014 at 11:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You are a fool, if not a moron.

April 09 2014 at 4:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I'm confused. The photo says that the Forester was one of only two mid-sized SUVs to pass the test, yet the article names 2 vehicles, not the Forester, and never mentions the Forester again. What's the story AP? Where does the Forester fall?

April 08 2014 at 11:22 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jimn92's comment

It's a bit misleading. The picture is of a Subaru Forrester - a SMALL SUV. The article is about the MIDSIZED SUV crash test. I guess you'd have to look for the SMALL SUV results on the IIHS website.

April 08 2014 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Way to go GM. GMC pick up trucks were rated the highest in the truck series of tests.

April 08 2014 at 10:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment

Where does it say pick-up trucks

April 08 2014 at 2:19 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

well maybe now they will get serious about making cars i own chevies, they need to step up their game.

April 08 2014 at 9:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That image is a 35 mph crash? The front end is obliterated! CAFE standards are endangering our families.

April 08 2014 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mike.hawkzard's comment

It's an offset test, using 25% of the frontal area of the car on the Driver's side, at 40 MPH. It's all in the article.

April 08 2014 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply