Toronto, Ontario — In the grand old tradition of public shaming through the media, we report that the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross have earned the IIHS’s lowest score of Poor in the recently revamped side-impact test.
On the other hand, the Mazda CX-5 was the only model to receive a positive grade of Good, while most of the 19 other models tested struggled with the new side-impact test that gauges a vehicle’s response to a heavier collision, such as what could come from a midsized SUV.
According to a spokesperson from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), automakers have known for a few years that test parameters were due for a change.
“Given the range of performance, it seems that some automakers did plan ahead with vehicle improvements while others need some time to catch up,” said spokesperson Joe Young.
By 2023, all vehicles will need a Good score on the new test in order to earn a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. Until then, a vehicle that performed well in prior side-impact crash tests may still retain the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick designation, but consumers can use this new information to inform their purchasing decisions.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was the only non-2021 model year vehicle tested. Mitsubishi skipped the 2021 model year for this vehicle, so the IIHS tested a 2020 model.
A spokesperson from Honda said, “While all current Honda and Acura models meet or exceed U.S. government standards for side-impact performance and, if tested, score Good ratings in the IIHS 2021 side impact test, we will endeavour to meet or exceed future requirements including IIHS’ new, rigorous side-impact testing.”
A spokesperson from Mitsubishi said, “Mitsubishi Motors is committed to building vehicles that meet or exceed all required safety standards because our customers’ safety is our highest priority. The Eclipse Cross has been a strong performer in all IIHS crash testing to date, with scores of Good in all crashworthiness areas. Under IIHS’ newest standard—a standard announced years after the Eclipse Cross was developed—the vehicle was rated a Poor in the Institute’s latest news release. This does not change the vehicle’s performance in any real-world crash, nor Mitsubishi Motors’ commitment to safety.”