Only Three New Midsized Luxury SUVs Excel in Updated Crash Test

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In a recent round of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only three midsized luxury SUVs managed to excel and secure the prestigious “Good” rating. The Lincoln Aviator, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and Volvo XC60 emerged as top performers in the evaluations, while the Audi Q5 and Lexus RX received “Marginal” ratings, and the Cadillac XT6 lagged behind with a disappointing “Poor” score.

The “Good” rating from IIHS indicates that there was no excessive risk of injury to the crash test dummy’s head, neck, chest, or thigh. Moreover, the dummy must maintain the correct position and not slide under the lap belt upon impact. The seatbelt is also crucial in preventing forward motion, ensuring that the dummy does not collide with the front seatback.

Front-seat passenger protection was generally commendable across all tested SUVs. However, those with lower scores in the moderate overlap test exhibited concerns related to dummies sliding under seatbelts and coming too close to the front seatback. Specifically, the Lincoln Aviator faced issues with the belt allowing the dummy’s head to come too close to the front seats. On the other hand, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class raised concerns as the rear dummy’s sensors indicated an elevated risk of head or neck injuries.

The IIHS introduced an update to its side-crash test in 2021, taking into account the prevalence of heavier vehicles on the roads. This revised evaluation involves 82 percent more impact energy than before and mandates a “Good” rating for a car to earn the coveted Top Safety Pick + designation. This alteration resulted in the exclusion of several previously award-winning models from the list, though some await evaluation under the new and more rigorous test criteria.

In the competitive landscape of midsized luxury SUVs, these crash test results serve as a crucial benchmark for consumers concerned about the safety performance of their chosen vehicles. The outcomes highlight the varying degrees of safety measures implemented by different automakers and underscore the importance of comprehensive crash testing in evaluating the overall safety of automobiles on the market.


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