SUV CRASH TEST RESULTS
3 SMALL SUVs EARN GOOD RATINGS, 1 ACCEPTABLE
recent frontal offset crash tests of four new or redesigned small sport
utility vehicles, three earned the top crashworthiness rating. The 2002
Honda CR-V, 2003 Subaru Forester, and 2002 Saturn VUE are rated good
overall. The CR-V and Forester also earned "best pick" designations.
Another small SUV, the 2002 Land Rover Freelander (an older design that
has been newly introduced in the U.S. market), is rated acceptable.
Institute for Highway Safety's ratings reflect performance in a 40 mph
frontal offset crash test into a deformable barrier. Based on the results
of this test, the Institute evaluates the crashworthiness of passenger
vehicles, assigning each vehicle a rating of good, acceptable, marginal,
this set of tests, only the Hyundai Santa Fe and previous Forester design,
among small SUVs, earned good overall crashworthiness ratings. Adding
more small SUVs to those with good ratings is further proof that manufacturers
are working to improve the performances of their new designs in offset
tests. This will mean improved protection for people in serious real-world
crashes," says Institute president Brian O'Neill.
to the small SUVs with good ratings, four other current designs are
rated acceptable and two are marginal.
design is key to good performance: The CR-V, Forester, VUE, and Freelander
all earned good ratings for structural performance in the offset test.
The occupant compartments of these vehicles held up well, preserving
the space around the driver dummy.
improves compared with performance of 1998 model: The structural performance
of the new CR-V was especially good compared with the previous CR-V
design. There was very little intrusion into the occupant compartment
of the new model, and all of the injury measures recorded on the dummy
were good. In contrast, measures recorded on the dummy's head and left
leg in the crash of the predecessor (1998) model indicated significant
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