The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded three midsize SUVs its good overall rating based on their performance in the new passenger-side overlap test, while three others earned acceptable ratings and two got poor ratings.
The 2019 Kia Sorento, 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2018 GMC Acadia were the top performers, capturing the good rating.
Acceptable ratings were given to the 2018 Toyota Highlander, the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder, and the 2018 Honda Pilot.
The 2018 Ford Explorer and the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee scored a poor rating from IIHS after being put through the paces of its rigorous crash test.
While the Acadia’s performance was not flawless, it earned a good rating as it had maximum intrusion of just 2 inches on the right side of the toepan. As for the Sorento, in the test, the vehicle’s structure was maintained well, with maximum intrusion of 4 inches on the right side of the toepan. Finally, the Atlas also captured the good rating likely due to its structural strength and its array of safety systems.
The two vehicles that fared the worst each got a poor rating for their own specific flaws.
The Ford Explorer’s structure collapsed during the test. Intrusion reached 15 inches at the lower door hinge pillar and 13 inches at the upper door hinge pillar and the dashboard. The door sill was pushed in 6 inches toward the dummy.
According to IIHS, measures taken from the dummy showed a high likelihood of injuries to the right hip in a real-world crash of the same severity, as well as a possibility of left lower leg injuries.
Moreover, the Explorer also had poor structural performance in the driver-side test and earned an overall rating of "marginal" for driver-side small overlap protection.
The manufacturer is redesigning the Explorer and promises the new model will have improved small overlap protection on both sides, according to IIHS.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee did not fare well in the rigorous passenger-side crash test either. It experienced a maximum intrusion of 10 inches at the lower door hinge pillar.
However, what happened to the passenger dummy's head was even more disturbing, notes IIHS. It hit the dashboard hard through the front airbag. The side curtain airbag failed to deploy and the door opened, tossing the dummy outside the vehicle during rebound. Measures indicated that right leg injuries would be likely in a crash of similar severity and a head injury would be possible.