Pair Becomes First Crossovers to Receive New Safety Designation
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently put its first class of crossovers through its new small-overlap crash test, and just two of the 13 entries scored well enough to earn the Institute’s enhanced Top Safety Pick+ designation: The all-new 2014 Subaru Forester and the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
The 2014 Subaru Forester was a particularly strong performer in the small-overlap test, and in fact became the first vehicle of any kind to achieve top grades in all the individual components of the test, including all four injury measures on the crash-test dummy. Also, according to the IIHS: “The airbags worked as intended, and the space around the dummy was well-maintained.”
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander received an “acceptable” grade in the new test, while the following crossovers all qualified for traditional Top Safety Pick status in the May round of evaluations:
Then there’s this: Toyota asked the IIHS to delay putting the 2013 Toyota RAV-4 through the small-overlap procedure until later this year, to allow time for the automaker to “make changes to the RAV4 to improve performance in the test.” The RAV-4 was tested in the other evaluations and earns a Top Safety Pick designation at this time.
As safety-minded readers may recall, the IIHS late last year began running select vehicles through an additional testing procedure that “replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end, on the driver’s side, strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph.” Vehicles have to receive either “good” or “acceptable” grades in that "small overlap" test, as well as the highest possible grades in the organization's other evaluations—for moderate-overlap, side, rear, and rollover occupant protection—to qualify for “+” status.
And at this stage, an even 20 vehicles have done so: