Ten out of 18 medium light vehicles achieved “good” ratings in the Insurance Institute for Road Safety‘s new side impact assessment.
IIHS updated the side test to “handle higher-speed accidents that continue to cause fatalities.” The new test also uses a 4,200-pound barrier hitting the vehicle at 37 mph, instead of the previous 3,300-pound barrier that hit the vehicle at 50 mph. According to a press releasethese changes mean that the simulated crash “produces 82 percent more energy.”
IIHS gave “good”, “acceptable”, “marginal” and “poor” ratings to vehicles it classified as medium size.
To receive a “good” rating in both versions of the side test, the passenger compartment of the vehicle must maintain its shape, the crash test dummies must show no signs of serious injury, and the side airbags and seat belts must “prevent dummies’ heads from hitting from hard contact with the interior of the vehicle.”
The 10 vehicles that received a “good” rating were the Ford Explorer, Infiniti QX60, Lincoln Aviator, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport and the electric Volkswagen ID4.
The Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse earned “acceptable” ratings, while the Honda Passport, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Jeep Wrangler four-door, Kia Telluride, and Nissan Murano earned “marginal” ratings.
IIHS President David Harkey told: Automotive News that he was pleasantly surprised with the results of the test, because when the institute conducted the new test on small crossovers in the fall, only one of the 20 vehicles tested received a “good” rating.
“It means the automakers have already started making improvements to their vehicles that can prevent these more serious collisions and injuries,” Harkey said. “And so we’re encouraged that we think the automakers will continue to make fairly rapid progress in improving their vehicles and providing even more safety for consumers.”