The 2011 Kia Sportage won the honor of Top Safety Pick in the small SUV category by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Since the Sportage is a twin of the 2010 Hyundai Tucson (also a Top Safety Pick), the Kia SUV wasn’t physically tested; instead, the same ratings from the Tuscon were applied to the Sportage, according to IIHS sources.
To earn the award, a vehicle must receive the top rating of Good in front, side, rear and rollover crash tests. The vehicle also must have electronic stability control, which is standard on the Sportage.
Earning the award became tougher this year when IIHS added the rollover crash test, which measures roof strength and is twice as stringent as the federal requirement. To pass this test, a vehicle’s roof must be able to withstand the force of four times the vehicle’s weight. The federal standard requires a roof to hold 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight.
The Sportage and Tucson can withstand 4.43 times their weight. The Honda Element, Jeep Patriot, Subaru Forester and Volkswagen Tiguan are also 2010 Top Safety Picks in this segment.
For more information about other IIHS Top Safety Picks, click here.