Small SUVs have room for improvement with the new IIHS side crash test

  • According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 23% of passenger car occupant deaths in 2019 were due to high-speed side collisions, so nonprofits have decided to update their 2003 side impact tests. Did.
  • IIHS is currently A heavier barrier (82% increase in overall energy) that moves at high speeds to collide with the vehicle under test better represents today’s typical collisions.
  • Only one small SUV, Mazda CX-5 (Photo above), I got the highest good rating, Honda HR-V When Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross It was evaluated as bad.

    Fortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently introduced a new series of 20 small SUVs. Tighter crash test Designed to better model high-speed side impacts. The bad news is that none of the vehicles tested in one of the most popular vehicle segments in the United States received the highest possible “good” rating in all categories.

    IIHS has changed the way it tests for side collision crashes with heavier barriers that move faster. It was £ 3,300 at 31 mph in the previous test protocol, but is now £ 4,180 at 37 mph, an increase of 82%. Overall energy. The change is to better simulate the not-so-rare case of a medium-sized SUV hitting a small SUV.

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    The IIHS also updated the honeycomb striking surface of the new barrier, saying that it “acts like a real SUV or pickup when colliding with another vehicle.” In the real world, IIHS has shown that the powerful B-pillars that were important in old side-to-side crash tests can bend the front end of a colliding vehicle, and those bent areas can penetrate the cabin. discovered. According to the IIHS, automakers need to improve the strength of their horizontal door beams to increase occupant protection. It also allows them to get better scores on the new IIHS test.

    The only small SUVs that came close to perfection were the 2021 and 2022 Mazda CX-5s, which covered all categories except the chest category for driver injuries. Therefore, the CX-5 was rated as acceptable, with the second highest score. Masaki Ueno, Mazda’s Vice President of R & D, Design and Quality Assurance, said in a statement that he studied actual collisions and computer simulations when designing the body structure and load paths of the CX-5.

    IIHS gave almost half of the tested vehicles, 9 out of 20 as an overall acceptable rating: Audi Q3, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Benza, Volvo XC40. The two models, the Honda HR-V and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, received bad reviews overall. The other eight (Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Jeep Plenegade, Kias Sportage, Lincoln Corsair) were given marginal ratings. Complete test information including this new side collision collision test IIHS website Under “Side: New Test”.

    The 2021 Volvo XC40 was rated acceptable in this test.


    The IIHS claims that high-speed side collisions are behind 23% of passenger car occupant deaths in 2019, so they wanted to know which smaller SUV would provide the best protection in this situation. ..

    “We thought there was room for further progress, so we developed this new test, and these results support it,” IIHS President David Harkey said in a statement. “A good rating on the CX-5 shows that robust protection in more serious side collisions is achievable.”

    The IIHS claims that its testing can affect the way automakers design vehicles. The company introduced its first side-to-side crash test in 2003, rating only about 20% of vehicles that rated it as “good” in that first year. Today, all 20 vehicles that have passed this new test received a “good” rating in the original test, and IIHS stated that most new vehicles can get the highest score in this test.

    Car companies have a short time to adapt to new tests. For now, IIHS will continue to use the original test when distributing it. Top Safety Pick AwardHowever, the award criteria will be updated in 2023 to reflect the new side test.

    iihs side collision collision test chart

    Detailed test results are available at


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Small SUVs have room for improvement with the new IIHS side crash test

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