The Road Safety Insurance Institute (IIHS) today unveiled a number of results from its new and more sophisticated side impact test. This time the cars of medium size were tested and they actually went pretty well.

Institute previously published the results of its new test mode on small SUVs, in which only one car received an overall rating of “Good”. For average SUVs, that figure has more than halved.

A total of 10 of the 18 cars tested were rated “Good”: Ford Explorer, Infiniti QX60Lincoln Aviator, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport and Volkswagen ID.4, all 2022 models.

Read also: IIHS has introduced a tougher crash test for side impact, and small SUVs are working hard

Of this group, however, VW ID.4 and Mazda CX-9 were the only ones to receive “Good” marks for all measures to cause injury to the driver and passenger, including “design and safety cage”, “torso”, “driver head protection”, “rear passenger head protection” and others.

Jeep Wrangler The 4-door was the only vehicle to receive a “Poor” rating in this latter category due to the lack of rear airbags. He was among six cars (Nissan Murano, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Honda Pilot and Honda Passport) that received a “Marginal” rating under the new testing scheme. Meanwhile, the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse received a slightly higher rating of “Acceptable”.

The new test was designed to better reflect the modern automotive landscape. The assessment now uses a barrier weighing 4,200 pounds (1,905 kg) to crash into the test car to better reflect the weight modern SUVs. This is above the 3,300-pound (1497 kg) barrier previously used. The barrier itself now has a cellular front area that acts more like a modern vehicle when it breaks down.

The updated test largely confirms the work done by automakers to make vehicles safer. According to the old parameters, so many cars were driving IIHS decided that this could complicate tests to encourage automakers to create safer vehicles, and help customers better distinguish vehicles.

As a result, the heavier barrier is now also bumping into test cars at 37 mph (60 km / h) instead of 31 mph (50 km / h). Together, these modifications mean that the vehicles being tested are exposed to 82 percent more energy.

“It’s nice to see so much medium SUVs from different automakers earn good ratings in this more complex assessment, ”says IIHS senior research engineer Becky Mueller, whose research formed the basis for a new test protocol. “These results will help confirm the adjustments they need to make to other vehicles in the future.”

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