VW ID.4 Excel when Jeep Wrangler struggles with new, tough IIHS side effects

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) today released a set of results for its new and more difficult side effects test. The vehicles tested this time were medium sized SUVs and they actually did quite well.

The company has previously released results of its new test method on smaller SUVs, where only one car received an overall “good” rating. For medium-sized SUVs, that number has more than halved.

In all, 10 of the 18 vehicles tested received “good” ratings: Ford Explorer, Infiniti QX60, Lincoln Aviator, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, and Volkswagen ID. 4, all 2022 models.

Read more: IIHS launches tough side-impact crash test and small SUVs are fighting

Although within that group, the VW ID.4 and Mazda CX-9 are the only drivers and passengers to receive “good” ratings throughout the injury system, including “structure and safety cage,” “torso”, “driver’s head protection,” “rear passenger” Head protection, “and others.

The Jeep Wrangler 4-Door is the only vehicle that received a “poor” rating in the last category due to the lack of rear-screen airbags. It was among six vehicles (Nissan Murano, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Honda Pilot and Honda Passport) to achieve a “marginal” rating under the new testing scheme. Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, meanwhile, have received a slightly higher “acceptable” rating.

The new experiment was designed to better reflect the modern automotive landscape. Evaluation now uses a 4,200-pound (1,905 kg) barrier to test a car to better reflect the weight of modern SUVs. This is more than the 3,300-pound (1,497 kg) barrier previously used. The barrier itself now has a beehive front that acts like a modern vehicle when it crashes.

The update test is an approval of what automakers have done to make vehicles safer in a variety of ways. Under the old parameters, lots of vehicles were passing so IIHS decided that this could make tests more difficult to encourage automakers to build safer vehicles, as well as to help customers better differentiate between cars.

As a result, heavy barriers are now running at 37 mph (60 km / h) instead of 31 mph (50 km / h) in experimental vehicles. Together, these changes mean that vehicles are experiencing 82 percent more power during the test.

“Many medium-sized SUVs from various automakers are encouraged to get good ratings in this more challenging evaluation,” said Becky Mueller, IIHS Senior Research Engineer, whose research formed the basis of the new test protocol. “These results will help ensure that they adjust to other vehicles in front.”
















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