Several small SUVs have struggled in a new tougher Insurance Institute for Highway Safety side crash test to address higher-speed crashes that continue to cause fatalities.
In the first tests of 2020-21 vehicles, only one out of 20 small SUVs, the 2021 Mazda CX-5, earns a good rating.
“We developed this new test because we suspected there was room for more progress, and these results confirm that,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “The good rating for the CX-5 shows that robust protection in a more severe side crash is achievable.”
The updated side test uses a heavier barrier traveling at a higher speed to simulate the striking vehicle. The new barrier weighs 4,180 pounds — close to the weight of today’s midsize SUVs — and strikes the test vehicle at 37 mph, compared with a 3,300-pound barrier traveling at 31 mph in the original evaluation.
Nine vehicles earn acceptable ratings: the Audi Q3, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Venza and Volvo XC40.
Eight others — the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, Kia Sportage and Lincoln Corsair — earn marginal ratings. Two more, the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, receive poor ratings.