Big news today from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety: the 2013 Toyota RAV4 received a “poor” rating in the “small overlap front crash test.” This is significant all the time, but more so for one of America’s best-selling vehicles, and one that has recently been redesigned.
According to IIHS, “RAV4 earns a poor rating for protecting people in small overlap front crashes. The small SUV was redesigned for the 2013 model year, but the changes weren’t enough to lift the RAV4′s performance in the Institute’s challenging test. A combination of poor structure and inadequate control of the dummy’s movement prevented the RAV4 from earning a better rating.”
While these words appear damning, it would be prudent to remind you that IIHS has awarded the 2013 RAV4 as a “Top Safety Pick,” and that it has earned the highest crash test rankings in all but the previously mentioned category. And what’s more, this “poor” rating for small overlap would appear common: the 2013 Ford Escape, 2013 Hyundai Tucson, and 2013 Kia Sportage received the same grade, and the 2013 Nissan Rogue, 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2013 Mazda CX-5, 2013 Honda CRV, and 2013 BMW X1 fared only slightly better with the not quite coveted “marginal” ranking.
It’s interesting to note that of every small SUV on the market, only two received a grade of at least “acceptable”: the redesigned 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and the 2013 Subaru Forester, which received the only “Good” ranking for vehicles tested. Both were awarded “Top Safety Pick+” ranking. We recently reviewed the redesigned RAV4 favorably in a 5-vehicle comparison test here.