Raising Standards: IIHS updates side crash tests, only one midsize car earns ‘good’ rating

Toronto, Ontario – Four in seven midsize cars failed to earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s updated side crash test, according to a recent press release.

Of the seven vehicles, only the Subaru Outback earned a ‘good’ rating, with drivers having acceptable to good protection in all categories. The next two runner ups, the Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Jetta earned acceptable ratings. These poor scores contrast earlier side-collision tests in May, where 10 in 18 SUVs earned good ratings, which the IIHS believes may have to do with the lower ride height of more recent vehicles.

“With vehicles that sit lower to the ground, the striking barrier hits higher on the door panel,” says IIHS president, David Harkey. “That potentially puts sedans and wagons at a disadvantage in this evaluation but reflects what happens in a real-world crash when these vehicles are struck by a higher-riding pickup or SUV.

This updated side crash test was created in response to a suspected mismatch, where a quarter of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities were more severe than their original evaluation projected.

The updated test uses heavier barriers traveling at higher speeds to simulate impacting vehicle, with a similar weight to a midsize SUV to boot. This barrier strikes the test vehicle at 37 mph, compared with a 3,300-pound barrier traveling at 31 mph in the original evaluation.

Let us know in the comments how relevant IIHS ratings are for your body shop! If you like the above infographic by the IIHS and want more information on the study, click here.



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