Small SUV safety ratings released

05 April, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Escape's front door pillars seriously intruded on the passenger side and its side airbag didn't deploy

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released ratings for seven small SUVs, evaluating how occupants are protected in the event of a crash and some of the models didn't perform well. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport received a marginal rating in passenger safety, and the Ford Escape got a poor rating. Earlier models were classified as midsize.

Despite good crash scores, none of the latest vehicles earned that top award, primarily because in separate testing, their headlights did not get the required good rating to qualify for the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. "While the IIHS test results for this small overlap crash test are now being reviewed, we believe it is important to point out that all of the Driver and Passenger injury measures for the Outlander Sport in this test were rated 'good.' Only three of the vehicles reviewed in this test can make this claim".

The BMW X1 was one of five other small SUVs to receive an IIHS "Acceptable" rating. In contrast, the Ford Escape's (above) occupant compartment allowed too much intrusion. "Manufacturers shouldn't shortchange protection for front-seat passengers".

The test is the flip side of the driver's side test that the Institute has been doing for the past five years, CNN reports. It apparently didn't make the same improvements on the passenger side. It said measures taken from the dummy show that an occupant would have likely sustained right hip injuries in a real-world crash. The Escape earns an acceptable rating in the driver-side small overlap front test. IIHS said the Escape struggled in the test, as the passenger-side upper door-hinge pillar intruded 10 inches, compared with 5 inches on the driver side, and the door sill intruded 4 inches laterally into the cabin.

The X1's structure resisted intrusion reasonably well to maintain the passenger space. The airbag didn't deploy in the crash.

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Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport was rated "Marginal", because its side airbag also failed to deploy. Both of these SUVs had airbags that didn't deploy. This contributed to the Escape's marginal rating and the Outlander Sport's poor rating for restraints and kinematics.

"That's not something we expect to see after so many years of crash-testing", Mueller said. The test involves the test vehicle hitting an offset barrier at 40 miles per hour, with only a quarter of the vehicle's front hitting a barrier, a scenario that results in a challengingly asymmetric distribution of crash forces.

The tests conducted by the independent non-profit organization.

The Institute has used that process, known as test verification, to assign other types of ratings under certain circumstances.

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