The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced test scores for its most recent compact crossovers, and Mitsubishi and Subaru have reasons to smile. Only two out of the 13 vehicles tested earned the top honor of Top Safety Pick+. The 2014 Subaru Forester was the only vehicle to earn Good ratings on the Institute’s new small overlap test, while the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport only earned “Acceptable.” All remaining vehicles earned either a poor or marginal rating on the small overlap crash test.
As of last year, the IIHS added the small overlap test to its evaluations, as it replicates what occurs when the corner of the vehicle strikes another object like a tree or light pole. “With the redesigned Forester, Subaru’s engineers set out to do well in our new test, and they succeeded. This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection for people in these kinds of serious frontal crashes,” said Joe Nolan, the IIHS’s vice president for vehicle research in the results.
Many vehicles today have been designed to do well in the full-frontal crash tests in the moderate overlap front test, but this is no indication the vehicle will perform well in the small overlap test. With most vehicles, the impact at a 25 percent overlap misses the structures designed to manage crash energy, increasing the risk of damage or the collapsing of the cabin. When tested, two-thirds of the compact crossovers had poor ratings for structure, with half having a poor or marginal rating for restraints and kinematics.