The 2015 Acura TLX, a new mid-size luxury sedan, has earned the Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The TLX scored an “acceptable” rating in the demanding small overlap front test. Additionally, the car drew “good” ratings in four other crashworthiness tests and a “superior” rating for front crash prevention, IIHS said.
In the small overlap test, the driver space was "maintained reasonably well, with maximum intrusion of about 7 inches at the lower hinge pillar," IIHS said.
To watch video footage of the small overlap front test, click on the photo or link above.
“The dummy's movement was well controlled,” the institute noted. “Its head hit the front airbag and stayed there until rebound. The side curtain airbag also deployed and provided sufficient coverage to protect the head from intruding side structure and outside objects.”
Measures from the dummy sensors indicated that injuries to the left lower leg would be possible, but the risk of other injuries in a crash of this severity was low, IIHS added.
Introduced by IIHS in 2012, the small overlap test is more challenging than either the head-on crashes conducted by the government or the institute's moderate overlap test. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph. The crash replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or a utility pole.
The TLX replaces the TL and the TSX in Acura's lineup. The new car performed better in the small overlap test than the TSX, which earned a “marginal” rating, but not as well as the TL, which earned the top rating of “good.”
Neither predecessor vehicle had available front crash prevention. The TLX has two front crash prevention options, a warning-only system that qualifies for a “basic” rating and another that includes both the warning feature and automatic braking. In track tests of the autobrake feature, the car avoided the target in four out of five runs at 12 mph and in all five runs at 25 mph, earning a “superior” rating, IIHS said.
The TLX earned “good” ratings in the institute's long-standing moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. “Good” ratings in these tests, a “good” or “acceptable” rating in the small overlap test, and a front crash prevention rating of “basic” or higher are the requirements for the institute's highest award for 2014, Top Safety Pick+. The TLX is the seventh vehicle from Honda/Acura to earn the award.
Another three, including the TL, have earned Top Safety Pick status, which doesn't require front crash prevention.