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IIHS Judges Roof Strength of 12 Midsize SUVs

June 02, 2010

ARLINGTON, VA - In the first Insurance Institute for Highway Safety roof strength tests of midsize SUVs, six drew the top rating of "good" for rollover protection, one was deemed "acceptable," and five others were judged "marginal." 

Midsize SUVs drawing "good" ratings from IIHS were the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox (twin GMC Terrain) built after March 2010, Jeep Liberty (twin Dodge Nitro), Toyota Highlander and Venza, plus the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Kia Sorento, both 2011 models. 

The 2010 Ford Edge was rated "acceptable." The vehicles given "marginal" ratings by IIHS were the Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano -- all 2010 models. 

In addition to drawing "good" ratings for rollover protection, the Equinox, Grand Cherokee, Highlander, Sorento, and Venza also won the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award. To achieve this, a vehicle must earn "good" ratings for occupant protection in front, side, rear and rollover crashes. The vehicle also must have electronic stability control. 

The rollover rating system is based on IIHS research showing that occupants in vehicles that roll benefit from stronger roofs, the institute said. Vehicles rated "good" must have roofs that are more than twice as strong as the minimum required under the current federal safety standard. The ratings, products of the institute's roof-strength testing program, add to consumer information tests that rate vehicles' front, side and rear crashworthiness. The rollover test is designed to help consumers pick vehicles that will protect them the best in one of the most serious kinds of crashes, IIHS said. 

"Midsize SUVs are a big group so we're testing them in stages," said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

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