By on October 4, 2012

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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6 Comments on “Crash Tests For Dummies: Easy This Year, Hard Next Year...”

  • avatar

    Stupid question, do they test for rear-impact?

    Yesterday I was behind a Yaris with two child seats in the back, almost touching the glass, and while I’m not really a safety-first kind of guy, that’s a little boggling. Little bump from an iPhone user in a Yukon and that’s a life changed quick.

    • 0 avatar

      No, they only test the seats. Test procedure looks something like that:

      Autobild recently conducted a real rear-impact test, crashing a mid-size car travelling 50km/h into a Toyota iQ:

      • 0 avatar

        That second video reminds me of the accident my mother had in the mid 70’s. She was driving to work on a freeway next to the river. Suddenly fog obscured the road. Mom was slowly following the taillights of a pickup truck when she was struck from the rear. It pushed her into the pickup in front. The pickup was relatively untouched. Mom’s ’68 Mercury wagon needed a new tailgate. The little sports car that plowed into them was totaled.

  • avatar

    “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…”

    No kidding. Nevermind crashes, let’s talk about low speed collisions. Your average bumper is a metal bar with a pad of foam covered by painted plastic. The mounting points of the bumper are inwards from the corners, so the slightest tap will crumple the corner of the bumper because there isn’t anything supporting the free end of the metal bar… you see a lot of cars with that tell-tale crater just at the edge. If you want to get it fixed, it’s at least $400 because the whole assembly has to be replaced and repainted. So tell me, what was the purpose of the bumper again? oh right, to protect the car from major damage, thereby saving me money….right.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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