Few midsize cars excel in updated side crash test
Only three of seven midsize cars tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently earned the top rating in the organization’s new and tougher side crash test.
The IIHS updated its side crash test protocol in 2017 to better simulate the kind of angled impact that can occur when a vehicle is T-boned by another vehicle or hits a tree or utility pole. Many newer vehicles have structures designed to better protect occupants in such collisions, but not all midsize cars have kept up with the times.
Of the seven midsize cars tested, only the Audi A4, BMW 3 series and Volvo S60 earned the top rating of “Good.” The IIHS says that in order to earn a Good rating, a vehicle must show “no intrusions into the occupant compartment” and that the “dummy’s movement was well-controlled.”
The other four vehicles tested – the Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 200, Kia Optima and Toyota Camry – all earned the second-highest rating of “Acceptable.” These vehicles all had some level of intrusions into the occupant compartment, but the IIHS says the dummies in these vehicles were “well protected from serious injury.”
The IIHS side crash test is just one of several tests the organization uses to evaluate vehicle safety. Other tests include frontal crash, rollover and rear crash tests.