Small SUV Crash Test Results

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is updating its longest-running crash test, the moderate overlap front evaluation, to address a growing gap in the protection provided for front and rear occupants. In the first tests, only two out of 15 small SUVs, the Ford Escape and Volvo XC40, protect the rear occupant well enough to earn a good rating.

The Toyota RAV4 earns an acceptable rating, and the Audi Q3, Nissan Rogue and Subaru Forester are rated marginal. Another nine vehicles — the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-5 and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross — are rated poor.

All 15 vehicles earn good ratings in the original evaluation, demonstrating robust structures and effective restraints that protect the driver’s head from contacting the hard surfaces of the interior and minimize the risk of other types of injuries. However, the additional measurements provided by the new test show that most of them don’t provide adequate protection for the rear passenger’s head and neck — the most vulnerable areas of the body.