Small SUVs Fare Poorly in IIHS Small Overlap Crash Test

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
small suvs fare poorly in iihs small overlap crash test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently ran its small overlap crash test on the compact crossover segment, and two out of 13 vehicles managed to come away with top honors.

Out of the 13, two small crossovers came away with the Top Safety Pick + designation, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and Subaru Forester. To get that + tacked on at the end, vehicles must score a good rating in at least 4 out 5 crash tests.

Nine others earned a regular Top Safety Pick designation, which doesn’t take into account how these vehicles performed in the small overlap test. Those nine are the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, BMW X1, Buick Encore, Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan and the Jeep Patriot. Though these little SUVs may have done well in other areas, two-thirds of the vehicles had poor ratings for structure in the small overlap test, while about half of them were poor or marginal for restraints and kinematics.

At the bottom of the list, with no accolades to speak of are the Jeep Wrangler and the Nissan Rogue. IIHS notes that the Rogue had its door frame pushed far inside the cabin, while the Jeep Patriot was among the worst vehicle for restraints and kinematics. In the Patriot, the dummies head slid right off the frontal airbag, as the steering wheel was pushed 8 inches up and nearly 6 inches to the right.

IIHS added the small overlap test to the roster of crash tests last year, to see what happens to a vehicle when it collides with something like a light post on the front corner. During the test, 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="">Google+</A>

More by Stephen Elmer

Join the conversation