Only one small SUV rated ‘good’ in crash prevention tests

Technology does not detect motorcycles as well as cars, tests show

New, tougher crash tests show room for improvement as only one of 10 popular SUVs got a good rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The tests focused specifically on front crash protection systems now in most new vehicles.

“Front crash protection systems are highly effective in the real world. They reduce crashes by 50%,” said David Aylor with IIHS. “Many of these systems are not as effective when the struck vehicle is a motorcycle or large truck.”

Those can be the deadliest rear-end crashes when a car hits the undercarriage of a semi or a vulnerable cyclist gets slammed by a car.

IIHS raised the bar by increasing speeds and adding motorcycle and large trucks as targets, in addition to cars.

They tested 10 small 2023-24 SUVs.

“The evaluation is based on the vehicle’s ability to provide appropriate warning to drivers as well as the ability to avoid or mitigate a crash,” Aylor said.

The Subaru Forester was the only vehicle to receive a “good” overall rating.

Tests showed as it traveled toward a motorcycle at 37 mph, the safety system beeped repeatedly. As the car got closer to the bike, the automatic emergency braking system activated and stopped the car in time.

By contrast, the Chevy Equinox, traveling at 31 mph, barely slowed and struck the motorcycle and crash test dummy.

The Mazda CX5, Mitsubishi Outlander and Volkswagen Taos also struck the dummy. Those four received overall “poor” ratings.

The Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4 were rated “acceptable.”

The Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, and Jeep Compass got a “marginal” rating.

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About the Author

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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