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Consumer Reports Lists Midsized SUV Results with New Crash Test

Wonder how your SUV sizes up with the latest updated side impact crash test? Here’s the latest from Consumer Reports on how current midsized SUVs did after the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) beefed up its side impact crash test.

A Need for Side Impact Protection Improvement

According to a recent Consumer Reports newsletter, last year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that there was a need for side impact protection improvement in SUVs.

Of 20 small SUVs tested in a new side crash test, only one---the Mazda CX-5---got a top Good rating, whereas two models (Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross) on the other side of the scale, earned the lowest score of Poor.

Related article: Consumer Reports Most Reliable 3-Year-Old Midsized SUVs With Modern Safety Features

The new side crash test consisted of a simulated increased striking vehicle mass and speed increase from 3,300 to 4,200 pounds and from 31 mph to 37 mph respectively that results in 82 percent more energy than the former side crash test.

The reason for the new test was to determine how vehicles would fare if they were struck from the side by a heavier, midsized SUV or truck at a higher speed.

Related article: Consumer Reports New Car Winners and Losers for This Important Safety Feature

Here’s a video that shows the new test in action on small SUVs:

Small SUVs struggle in new side test - IIHS News

Testing Midsized SUV Results

When the same type of testing shown in the video was performed on midsized SUVs, what crash safety analysts found was that automakers have responded to last year’s poor findings by making significant design improvements to make their vehicles more impervious to the higher side crash standard.

Related article: The Gory Truth About Seat Belts from Consumer Reports and a Paramedic

According to CR analysts, two crash test dummies designed to simulate a small woman and a 12-year-old child, were placed in the driver’s seat and the rear seat (directly behind the driver) respectively.

Under the IIHS rating categorization of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor with the new crash test, here are the results of the testing ranked by performance:

Good rating
• Ford Explorer
• Infiniti QX60
• Lincoln Aviator
• Mazda CX-9
• Nissan Pathfinder
• Subaru Ascent
• Toyota Highlander
• Volkswagen Atlas
• Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
• Volkswagen ID.4

Acceptable rating
• Buick Enclave
• Chevrolet Traverse

Marginal rating
• Honda Passport
• Honda Pilot
• Hyundai Palisade
• Jeep Wrangler 4-door
• Kia Telluride
• Nissan Murano

Poor Rating: None among the vehicles tested

IIHS’s senior research engineer Becky Mueller stated for Consumer Reports, “It’s encouraging to see so many midsized SUVs from different automakers earn Good ratings in this more challenging evaluation…These results will help confirm the adjustments they need to make to other vehicles going forward.”

And finally…

For additional articles related to vehicle safety, here are a few for your consideration:

Consumer Reports Best SUVs Under $35,000 That Come Standard with Active Safety Systems

Ford Rear Occupant Alert Video Highlights Summer Dangers for Children and Pets

Consumer Reports Discusses When Your Car’s Lawsuit Avoidance Safety Feature Fails

COMING UP NEXT: Recommended Compact Hybrid Cars Per New Consumer Reports Survey

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

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