New Safety Ratings Highlight Small SUV Problems

U.S. & World

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released ratings today for seven small SUVs. The tests evaluate how occupants are protected in the event of a crash. Some models didn’t perform well. 

Airbags can’t do their job of protecting people if they don’t even deploy,” said Becky Mueller, of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

That was the case for side curtain airbags in both the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and the Ford Escape in passenger side small overlap crash tests.

“This is surprising to us after so many years of crash testing,” Mueller said.

This type of test was introduced in 2017. It mimics what happens if the corner of a vehicle collides with an object such as a tree or another car. 

Overall, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport received a “Marginal” rating, and the Ford Escape received a “Poor” rating. 

“There were multiple problems with both of these vehicles,” Mueller said.

Faring better were the BMW X1, Mitsubishi Outlander, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, and Jeep Compass.

They all received a good rating in the passenger side small overlap test. 

“One of the vehicles, the Mitsubishi Outlander, of these 7 small SUVS, qualifies for the Top Safety Pick Award,” Mueller said. 

However, none of the seven qualified for the industry’s “Top Safety Pick Plus” award, mainly due to headlights that fell short of a “Good” rating.

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