Results from a recent IIHS study reveals that cars with good small overlap front ratings may not protect the passenger as well as the driver.
Car enthusiasts don't buy sports cars to stay in the slow lane. But given that the allure of higher speeds and bolder performance might lead to faster and more aggressive driving, they might think manufacturers have outfitted these cars with stringent safety protections.
- Chris Bruce
- May 12, 2015
The International Institute for Highway Safety has released its results for the small-overlap front crash test with regards to midsize sport-utility vehicles.
Improvements to the 2015 Buick Encore are reaping big rewards for the popular compact crossover. Where a previous one scored a Poor result in the small overlap crash test from the IIHS, the latest model improved that to Good. Both the Encore and Chevrolet Trax now have Top Safety Pick ratings.
In simplistic terms, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid will go real far when it needs to go and stop when it needs to stop. The PHEV has now been certified to protect its occupants when they need to be protected. So there's not much more that you can ask from a vehicle.
First introduced in 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small-overlap frontal crash test has become the bane of many auto engineers' existence. It's a particularly steep design challenge because it forces just 25 percent of a vehicle's front end to take the brunt of a 40-mile-per-hour impact. The newly released results of four family-minded minivans underscore just how difficult the crash test is: only one scored an Acceptable rating, and the other three did very poorly.
There has been a steady march of progress in automotive safety over the years, evolving from the initial introduction of seat belts and padded dash surfaces to airbags and anti-lock brakes, and, more recently, to some of today's vehicles that actively try to avoid a crash. Unfortunately, knowing about all of that advancement only makes the incredibly poor performance of the Indian-market Datsun Go in a recent crash test by Global NCAP that much more terrifying to watch.
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