Subaru Forester Beats Popular Rivals in New Crash Test, IIHS Says

Subaru Forester Beats Popular Rivals in New Crash Tests, IIHS SaysThe most popular, small crossover SUVs couldn’t compete with the Subaru Forester and the Mitsubishi Outlander in the newest front crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The IIHS added the “small overlap” front crash scenario to its lineup of vehicle safety evaluations last year. This year, the 2014 Subaru Forester is the first vehicle to “ace every aspect” of the tougher crash test, according to IIHS test results released Thursday.
The Forester was the only one of 13 small SUVs to earn an overall rating of good in the test. The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport earned an “acceptable” rating. Both vehicles qualified for the Institute’s recently-introduced top honor, “Top Safety Pick+.”
Each of the other 11 SUVs earned either a poor or marginal rating, including popular crossovers from Honda, Ford, Mazda and Nissan.
“With the redesigned Forester, Subaru’s engineers set out to do well in our new test, and they succeeded,” said Joe Nolan, the Institute’s vice president for vehicle research. “This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection for people in these kinds of serious frontal crashes.”
The “small overlap” test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A dummy is belted in the driver’s seat.
Most vehicles today are designed to do well in the government’s “full-width” front crash test and in the Institute’s “moderate overlap” front test, “but that is no guarantee of good performance in a small overlap crash,” the Institute says.
In a 2009 IIHS study of vehicles with good ratings for frontal crash protection, “small overlap” crashes accounted for nearly a quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants.
In many vehicles, the impact at a 25 percent overlap misses the primary structures designed to manage crash energy. That increases the risk of severe damage to or collapse of the occupant compartment structure.
IIHS continues to award Top Safety Pick (without the “plus”) to vehicles with good ratings in the “moderate overlap” front, side, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap ratings. Of the small SUV test group, nine earn TOP SAFETY PICK, including the BMW X1, Buick Encore,  Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V, the Hyundai Tucson and its twin, the Kia Sportage, the Mazda CX-5, the Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2014 Patriot
See the IIHS video for the “small overlap” test results:

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