IIHS finds some SUVs perform worse than cars in side impacts
The side impact test is where there was more divergence. Only the two Nissans lacked standard side airbags and the difference that made was clear. Without the side bags the Nissans were only Marginal, while the option bumped that score to a Good. The Jeep and Chevrolet both have standard side curtains but lack torso units. The result was that weak side structures yielded poor protection for drivers even though the vehicles ride higher than cars. All the other trucks had curtain and torso bags. The bottom line: if you must have an SUV, make sure you get side airbags with both head and torso protection.
[Source: Insurance institute for Highway Safety]
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