SAFETY

Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test

Aug 7, 2022, 10:00 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Seven popular 2022 midsize sedans were put through an updated side-crash test, and only one car received a ‘good’ rating while two others earned an ‘acceptable’ rating and the remaining four cars were either scored ‘marginal’ or ‘poor.’

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Subaru Outback an overall rating of good. The Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Jetta had more intrusion into the inside compartment and received an acceptable grade. While the Honda Accord earned a marginal rating, the Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu and Toyota Camry all were given a score of poor.

New test better reflects real-world crashes

The updated test used a heavier vehicle to strike the side of the test vehicle. The strike vehicle weighs 4,200 pounds, which is closer to the actual weight of today’s midsize SUVs. The updated strike vehicle travels faster — 37 mph — compared to the previous strike vehicle, moving at 31 mph and weighing 3,300 pounds.

All seven test vehicles earned good ratings in the previous side test.

The previous test also did not accurately reflect the severity of real-world side crashes, which account for nearly a quarter of all occupant fatalities.

The first group of small and midsized SUVS outperformed midsized cars in the side-crash test, possibly because the SUVs ride higher.

Starting in 2023, midsize cars earning a ‘good’ rating will be given the TOP SAFETY PICK+ award while cars earning an ‘acceptable’ score will earn the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK award.

The IIHS side crash test has resulted in lifesaving improvements in passenger and driver protection since it was introduced in 2003.

For more information:

Few midsize cars excel in updated side crash test

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Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test