IIHS Tests Mid-Sized SUVs - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

IIHS Tests Mid-Sized SUVs

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashed mid-size SUVs into a rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour to see which ones performed best in a frontal crash.

Of nine models, only the Chevrolet Equinox and the GMC Terrain received the highest rating. The Toyota Highlander was rated acceptable.

All three of those SUVs performed well in front, side, rear and roll over crashes and they come equipped with technology to help prevent or minimize frontal collisions.

The test showed what could happen if just a small portion of the vehicle crashes into another vehicle or object, like a utility pole or tree.

"This kind of crash, a small overlap where just the corner of the front of your vehicle is involved, accounted for about 25% of the remaining serious injuries in front crashes," says IIHS President Adrian Lund.

The Institute declared the Honda Pilot the worst performer. The Mazda CX9 and the Kia Sorrento also rated poorly.

The Ford Explorer, Toyota 4-Runner and Jeep Cherokee got marginal ratings.

Researchers say the results show manufacturers what improvements they need to make.

"They need to beef up the occupant compartment, to make sure it doesn't collapse when all this force comes back to it." 

Despite the ratings, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says SUVs have gotten much safer over the past twenty years.

The IIHS says the small overlap test is more difficult than straight head-on and moderate crash tests because the structure of the vehicle that would normally manage crash energy is bypassed.

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