CARS.COM — A pair of Nissan-produced SUVs have joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s five-star safety club for the 2017 model year. Both the Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60 from the automaker’s luxury division earned a five-star overall score in NHTSA’s latest round of crashworthiness ratings.
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Nissan lightly updated the Pathfinder for 2017 and its crash test scores carry over from last year. NHTSA gave the seven-seat SUV — in both its front- and all-wheel-drive versions — a score of four for front crashes, five for side crashes and four for rollovers, for an overall score of five. The similarly updated-for-2016 QX60, meanwhile, earned identical scores to the Pathfinder’s in all of the luxury SUV’s incarnations, including front- and all-wheel-drive and hybrid versions.
While the two SUVs matched up in NHTSA’s testing, their results the previous model year varied in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluations. The 2016 Pathfinder failed to earn a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus rating from IIHS, earning the requisite good scores in all five testing areas — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats — but offering no front crash prevention system. The 2016 QX60, meanwhile, earned a Top Safety Pick Plus designation thanks to its good across-the-board crashworthiness ratings as well as a superior score for front crash prevention.
Versus competitors, the Pathfinder stacks up well in NHTSA ratings. The 2017 Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse all received five-star scores. The Mazda CX-9 has not been rated since the 2015 model year; it was redesigned for 2016.