By Mike Davey
Hamilton, Ontario -- April 6, 2016 -- Which new vehicles are you least likely to see come into the shop over the next year? The list now includes the Nissan Sentra and the Infiniti QX60, if the latest ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are anything to go by.
A US-based organization, the IIHS regularly tests vehicles on two aspects of safety. The first is crashworthiness, or how well the vehicle protects its occupants in the event of a crash. The second aspect is crash avoidance and mitigation, technology that may prevent the accident ever taking place at all, or at least lessening its severity.
To determine crashworthiness, IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor, based on performance in five tests: moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints. In the area of crash avoidance and mitigation, IIHS assigns vehicles with available front crash prevention systems ratings of basic, advanced or superior, based on the type of system and performance in track tests.
The Nissan Sentra and the Infiniti QX60 have earned a place as IIHS Top Safety Pick+ vehicles. Top Safety Pick+ is the highest award given out by IIHS. Both vehicles had "good" ratings in the five crashworthiness testing areas, but their optional front crash prevention systems only recently became available for testing.
According to a statment from IIHS, the Sentra avoided a collision completely in the 12 mph track test. It didn't fare quite so well in the 25 mph track test, but the Sentra's impact speed was reduced by about 10 mph. The Infiniti QX60, on the other hand, avoided a collision in both tests.
"Infiniti is obviously pleased to receive the exclusive IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which reflects the organization's strictest testing standards, for the 2016 QX60," says Randy Parker, Vice President, Infiniti Americas. "The enhancements to the QX60 for the new model year, especially in the expansion of its advanced technology features, once again raise the standard in the premium crossover segment."
Also joining the Top Safety Pick+ list in recent months are the 2016 versions of the Toyota Prius, Kia Optima, Mini Cooper and the redesigned Audi Q7.