In the roof-strength tests, the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser and Xterra earned an Acceptable rating, which means these SUVs can withstand 3.25 times the vehicle’s weight before the roof caves in at least 5 inches. The Pathfinder received a Marginal rating, which means it can withstand about three times its own weight. Anything below 2.5 is rated Poor by IIHS.
The institute uses the same testing method as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but its standard is more than two-and-half times as stringent as the government’s. To earn a Good rating in IIHS’s rollover test, a vehicle’s roof must be able to withstand the force of four times the vehicle’s weight.
To earn the Top Safety Pick 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.
Nearly 10,000 people die in rollovers each year, according to IIHS. A key component to preventing fatalities in rollovers is for your vehicle to maintain its roof’s integrity for as long as possible.