ARLINGTON, VA — (WWJ) Two General Motors vehicles finished at the top of the list of mid-size SUV’s in a tough new crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“When it comes to midsize SUVs, General Motors is showing the way forward,” says Insurance Institute Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “The Equinox and Terrain score well in all components of the small overlap test structure, restraints and kinematics, and injury.”
The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole.
In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the drivers side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph.
The Toyota Highlander is the only other of nine SUV’s tested to do well enough to get a “Top Safety Pick+” designation from the Institute. All of the other vehicles showed some issue that could have caused injury or worse.
“The vehicles that are doing poorly, the main problem is that the occupant compartment around the driver collapses,” said Zuby.
This is a relatively new test, and not something that has been done by the federal government. The Insurance Institute adds tests like this to pressure car companies into building even safer vehicles.
The Honda Pilot was the worst performer in the group. Honda—in a statement– objecting to that characterization.
“Every new generation of the Honda Pilot has helped lead the light truck segment with a wide range of standard safety and driver assistive technologies and we are committed that it will continue to do so in the future.”
Other vehicles tested include the Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento, Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Zuby says car companies have begun taking this test into account as they update their vehicles.
“For sure this is something that can be addressed when a vehicle is completely redesigned. We’ve already seen that some manufacturers have been able to provide countermeasures to existing designs.”
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