They’re the ideal vehicle for families and active singles alike. Over the past seven years, their popularity has grown by 50%. They’re small SUVs, or as their commonly called, crossovers, and they’ve been popping up all over roads everywhere. That’s why recent crash test results are so disturbing. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), just 2 of 13 small SUVs tested fared well in recent crash tests. The others were rated as “marginal” or “poor”. Not such good news.
Crossovers like the Kia Sportage and Jeep Patriot sell like hotcakes. But they failed to impress when run through the IIHS’ “small overlap” crash test. This particular test only covers 25% of the front end of the vehicle. It was just added to evaluations in 2012, as the IIHS hoped to encourage automakers to improve their vehicles’ crash resistance. Their tests are more rigorous than the US government’s.
However, two vehicles did impress in the category: the 2014 Suburu Forester and the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The Forester received a “good” rating while the Outlander Sport results were “acceptable”. The Forester has recently undergone intense new redesigns, which engineers hoped would shine through in the crash tests. The vehicles involved in the test were run into a fixed 5-foot-tall barrier at speeds of 40 miles per hour, meant to replicate crashes with utility poles and trees.
It is important to do your research when buying a new vehicle. When considering price, aesthetics and gas mileage, make sure you review safety ratings. They can make all the difference if the worst were to happen.