Small SUV Crash Test: Two Earn Top Rating For Overlap Crashes

May 16, 2013

The 2014 Subaru Forester is the first vehicle to ace every aspect of the challenging small overlap front crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Forester, the only one of 13 small SUVs to earn an overall rating of good in the test, and the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which earns acceptable, are the latest vehicles to qualify for the Institute's recently inaugurated top honor, Top Safety Pick+. Each of the other 11 SUVs earns either a poor or marginal rating.

The overlap front crash test looks at what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole.

In the test 25% of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall barrier at 40 mph.

These overlap crashes account for 25% of fatal crashes in small SUVs.

"The Subaru Forester's performance was textbook," says Joe Nolan, vice president at IIHS. "Inside the compartment there was very little movement of the instrument panel rearward towards the occupant and the steering column remained stable."

"That helped the driver air bag protect the occupants head and chest.," says Nolan. "The head was further protected by a deploying side curtain airbag with a lot of good forward coverage."

The vehicles that received the lowest rating were the Jeep Patriot and the Ford Escape.

For a complete list of results, click on the link below.

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