Small Cars Struggle to Meet Increased Safety Standards in IIHS Side Crash Tests
Eleven small cars and crossovers were put through the side crash safety test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that has since raised its standards for a passing score. Anything that receives less than an “acceptable” rating receives an automatic failing grade. Once the test was complete, the final results were a mixed bag.
Only two cars received “Good” scores, while five received an “Acceptable” grade, and four received a “Poor” rating.
The table below shows the results:
|Vehicle||Score In New Side-Impact Test|
|2023 Mazda 3 Hatchback||Good|
|2023 Mazda 3 Sedan||Good|
|2022 Honda Civic Hatchback||Acceptable|
|2022 Honda Civic Sedan||Acceptable|
|2022 Nissan Sentra||Acceptable|
|2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback||Acceptable|
|2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan||Acceptable|
|2022 Kia Forte||Poor|
|2022-23 Subaru Crosstrek||Poor|
|2022-23 Subaru Impreza Sedan||Poor|
|2022-23 Subaru Impreza Wagon||Poor|
The side crash test involves a 4,200-lb barrier representing a standard size SUV striking the cars at 37 miles-per-hour. The previous test involved a 3,300-lb barrier travelling at 31 miles-per-hour. The IIHS adjusted its testing standards after discovering that almost a quarter of side-impact crashes that result in fatalities occurred at higher speeds.
Before these changes were made, all eleven vehicles involved in the new test would have received a “Good” rating in the original test.
“Smaller, lower vehicles are at a disadvantage when struck by the new test barrier, which is a more realistic representation of the front end of a typical modern SUV than our old barrier,” says IIHS Senior Research Engineer Becky Meuller. “Clearly, some manufacturers have already figured out how to provide sufficient protection in a crash like this even for occupants of small cars.”