From 9 mid-size SUV models tested, only 2 got good rating – the Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain brothers. Toyota Highlander earned “acceptable”.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has conducted tests of nine midsize crossover models of year 2014. The title of “The Safest Car +” where “+” means successful completion of a frontal crash test with a small overlap (“good” or “acceptable” rating required), given to Chevrolet Equinox / GMC Terrain and Toyota Highlander. They were also rated as “good” based on test results including impact with an average overlap test, side impact test, roof protection test, as well as seat belts and airbags functioning tests.

Starting 2014, in order to earn “The Safest Car+” title, you should get the collision avoidance system assessed on a basic – advanced – excellent scale.

Absolute outsiders of the shot with a small overlap crash test were Kia Sorento, Mazda CX- 9 and Honda Pilot. The latter was the worst in the group. According to IIHS, driver space got strongest deformation in Honda Pilot: the parking brake pedal moved 41 cm further into the cabin, the steering column moved 13 cm to the right, causing the dummy’s head sliding off the airbag.
Mazda CX-9 body structure hardness, according to the IIHS, has much for improvement: the front pillar has shifted 43 cm after impact, while the left front wheel almost contacted the driver dummy’s knee. Neither Mazda CX-9 nor Kia Sorento had side airbags deployed, causing the dummy’s head to hit the door.

The Frontal crash test with small overlap (when cars crash against a fixed obstacle at 64 km/h (40 mph) 1.5m heigh, overlapping with driver’s side by 25%, was added to IIHS tests in 2012. For many car models, such an impact goes outside of protection zone which absorbs and dissipates the energy.

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