Crash Tests For Dummies: Easy This Year, Hard Next Year

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
crash tests for dummies easy this year hard next year

Four 2013 models, the Lexus ES, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Subaru XV Crosstrek, and the Dodge Dart received the coveted “Top Safety Pick” award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

For the new Lexus ES models, the award is a relief. The outgoing ES 350 model had earned only a marginal rating in the rear test.

For the Santa Fe, the award is a tradition: The previous generation model was also a “Top Safety Pick” award winner.

Subaru’s XV Crosstrek is new for 2013 and a twin to the Subaru Impreza, also a “Top Safety Pick”.

The Dodge Dart is a new model introduced for 2013, jointly developed by Fiat and Chrysler..

Getting to the top of IIHS pile is not hard: Of the 180 vehicles IIHS tested for the 2012 model year, 132 were awarded the Top Safety Pick designation, Reuters writes.

Starting next year, a new front crash tests will evaluate a vehicle’s safety in a crash that impacts the front corners. Most manufacturers optimize cars for middle-front collisions, expect a series of fails until the new test specifications have found their way into the CADCAM stations.

In a recent test of 11 luxury midsize cars by using the new corner-front crash evaluation, only two models earned the top safety ranking, the IIHS said.

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2 of 6 comments
  • Beerboy12 Beerboy12 on Oct 04, 2012

    While crash tests are expensive and academic I still believe they are vital for customers and manufacturers alike. They definitely have had a positive impact (excuse the pun) on cars. The build & engineering quality is vastly improved. As to cost, I would think of it like this. It's like motorcycle safety gear, you buy a $10 helmet for a $10 head... i.e. don't wear one at all or wear the best money can buy.

  • Azmtbkr81 Azmtbkr81 on Oct 05, 2012

    Is it just me or do the crash dummies in the picture (particularly the female dummies) seem rather chubby? A sign of the times I suppose.