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Midsize SUVs Get Mixed Results in IIHS Crash Test

758194619 1431456791132 jpg 2015 Nissan Murano; | IIHS image

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just completed small overlap front crash testing on seven popular midsize SUVS. Three received good or acceptable ratings and four continue to struggle with the test. IIHS crash tests are rated on a scale of poor, marginal, acceptable and good.

Related: More Safety News

The small overlap front crash test simulates what happens when a vehicle’s front corner collides with another car or a utility pole. These types of crashes account for approximately 25 percent of deaths and serious injuries in vehicle collisions, according to IIHS Executive Vice President David Zuby.

Of the seven 2015 midsize SUVs tested in this round — the Nissan Murano, Ford Flex, Jeep Wrangler, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey — only the Murano received the institute’s highest award of Top Safety Pick Plus after receiving an overall rating of good on the small overlap test; that rating combined with a superior rating for its optional front crash prevention system earned it the top award. The Jeep Wrangler also received a good rating on the small front overlap test; however, since it received marginal ratings in side and rear crash tests, the institute cannot recommend it.

The Ford Flex earned an acceptable rating for the small overlap test, garnering the SUV a Top Safety Pick designation.

Most surprising to me were the results from the Hyundai Santa Fe, a favorite in my family. While the Santa Fe received the IIHS’ highest rating of good on all other crash tests it only performed marginally on the small front overlap test, precluding it from receiving a Top Safety Pick rating.

At the bottom of the pack were three Fiat Chrysler Automobiles SUVs: The Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Durango received marginal overall small front overlap scores, and the Dodge Journey got the lowest possible score of poor.

Photo of Kristin Varela
Former Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin Varela

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