CNN is reporting on the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test in which only one of 20 small SUVs earned the highest rating.
Methodolgy was changed this year, to use a heavier 4,180-pound barrier traveling at 37 miles per hour to simulate the striking vehicle. The institute said that this is “close to the weight of today’s midsize SUV.” What it really means is that about 80% more energy was projected into the test vehicles compared to the previous test.
“We developed this new test because we suspected there was room for more progress, and these results confirm that,” IIHS President David Harkey said in a press release.
The 2021 Mazda CX-5, was the only small SUV to earn the highest rating of “good.”
Nine vehicles earned “acceptable” ratings including the Audi Q3, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.
Two vehicles received the worst rating of “poor”: the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
Side-impact accidents accounted for 23% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2019, according to the IIHS. It recommends car makers to strengthen horizontal door beams and adjust airbags to provide more cushioning.
“There’s no single reason why so many side crashes still result in fatalities, but these results provide a roadmap for specific improvements that can save lives,” said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Becky Mueller.
It’s unclear why the Mazda CX5 and not it’s smaller counterparts, the CX 3 and CX 30 was tested.