By on May 24, 2016

Challenger crash

If you’re going to hit a pole in a Dodge Challenger, it’s better to nail that sucker head-on or it miss altogether.

That’s the takeaway from a series of crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, where Dodge’s muscle coupe scored itself a “marginal” rating in the small front overlap test.

The IIHS normally doesn’t test niche vehicles, but V8-powered Challenger, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro models are hot-selling items and buyers demanded it.

All three vehicles fared differently in the dreaded front small overlap test, where only 25 percent of the vehicle strikes a rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour. Added in 2012, the test has sunk the ratings of otherwise safe vehicles.

The Camaro walked away with a “good” rating in that test, while the Mustang scored an “acceptable” rating due to intrusion into the driver’s space. The Challenger sports the oldest architecture of the three, and that straw house was blown down by the test.

The result? Expect grievous lower leg injuries.

“During the crash, the Challenger’s front wheel was forced rearward into the occupant compartment, and the footwell intrusion trapped the dummy’s left foot and deformed its ankle,” IIHS president Adrian Lund said in a statement.

“Our technicians had to unbolt the dummy’s foot from its leg in order to free it. Entrapment is pretty rare. That’s only happened five other times in a small overlap test.”

The small overlap fail earned the Challenger a “marginal” rating, the second-lowest grade a vehicle can get.

Despite its so-so performance on that test, the Mustang scored top marks for moderate overlap, side impact, roof strength, as well as for head restraints and seats. The Camaro’s only weakness was in roof strength (which seems weird — there’s barely any window on the thing), where it earned an “acceptable” rating.

The Challenger got top marks for moderate overlap and side impacts, but roof strength and restraints were demoted to “acceptable.”

Like many before it, one of the testers was held back a grade thanks to its small overlap marks.

“The Mustang is just one good rating away from earning TOP SAFETY PICK,” Lund said “Its small overlap rating holds it back.”

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139 Comments on “Dodge Challenger Nets Worst Score in Muscle Car Crash Tests...”


  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    For some reason, I don’t think crash safety is an important decision factor for the buyers of these cars. I guess in a way, that’s a good thing :-)

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      That is literally the first sentence spoken in the video.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        For once BTSR wasn’t the first one to make a post.

        And I’m sure his name won’t show up anywhere in this blog.

        • 0 avatar
          NotFast

          I won’t miss BTSR’s comments. Unlike many/most of you – his comments are shallow and repetitive and lack any insight. There are plenty of days where I skip the comment section entirely because I can already guess what tripe will end up posted at the top.

        • 0 avatar
          Avatar77

          Ha, wish you had been right, but his name did show up below. I guess I can’t hear sarcasm on the Internet. Or to put it in BTSR speak:

          The problem is YOU can’t hear sarcasm on the net.

          This is not the REAL WORLD. Listen up!

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      It should be, considering how much more likely these cars are to do the El Stuffo Deluxe than is the average car. Excepting the Hellcat powered Challengers, many of which I suspect are foolishly being kept as garage queens while their owners wait in vain for them to appreciate in price.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Gee, I don’t remember demanding that. The Challenger is such a fat, bloated pig, I assumed it would do okay.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      > Gee, I don’t remember demanding that.

      It’s probably more accurate to say that insurance companies demanded the testing.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The offset test is a tough one and I’m not surprised that an older design did worse. The interesting thing to me is how the Challenger’s score compares to other designs on the same platform.

        (quick check of the interwebs)

        Chrysler 300 – same score: M
        Dodge Charger – same score: M

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      Mass has very little to do with a vehicle’s safety. Mass really only makes it more dangerous for whatever you’re crashing into.

      At the extreme, compare an S-class (up to 5300 lbs) and a 1982 F-250 with a small cab (5500 lbs). What would you rather hit a tree in?

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Mass when hitting a tree (semi, brick wall, etc) isn’t worth much.

        Mass when hitting another car means more acceleration for them and less acceleration for you.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Acceleration is a part of it but so is energy transfer, which is where new cars trump the old. Between a 3000lb new car and a 4000lb old car I’m going wth the new car every time, if they are the same shoulder height. The older car may decelerat slower, but a big part of that will be because it’s using the passenger compartment as crumple zone. Not good.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Look at the crashes of Indycars, fairly lightweight vehicle, but drivers tend to walk away from what look like horrendous crashes

      • 0 avatar
        TOTitan

        Believe it or not the tiny Smart car holds up extremely in crashes. After a 70 mph head on crash into a concrete barrier, the R door could still be opened. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnI-LiKCtuE

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          I watched that test. They did note that the occupants would not have fared as well as the vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          slap

          The problem is that the Smart car is so small that there isn’t sufficient sized crumple zones to keep the deceleration of the occupants low enough for them to survive the crash.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The smart uses the other car as its crumple zone, along with the front wheels. The wheel thing is why the previous one didn’t have a manual option: if there was a third pedal, they would have had to accomodate that foot placement in the crash design. The new one is wide enough to do that.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          watching that, the biggest risk in a Smart car would be from secondary collisions after you go skittering away.

  • avatar

    I try to avoid running into Poles. Especially since I’m part Polish myself.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Has the Challenger had any structural changes since it was released in 2008? The Mustang and Camaro both have the advantage of being designed from the start with the Small Overlap test in mind.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      What’s odd about the Camaro getting a “Good” score here is that the new CTS on the same Alpha platform got a “Marginal” for its small overlap.

      Doesn’t look like the ATS has been given this test yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        A platform means a lot less than you think it does. The front crash structure is generally unique to the car. In fact, a lot of cars are getting far stronger results when automakers revamp their front crash boxes in the middle of a design cycle, usually at the same time as a mid-cycle refresh. The 2016 Passat, which is the refreshed version, performs a lot better than the 2012-2015, for example, because Volkswagen did some reengineering. Toyota did something similar with the 2015.5 Camry. So that just goes to show you that front crash performance, for the most part, isn’t a fixed metric of the platform in question.

        The IIHS’s small overlap test debuted in 2012. The ATS entered the market in MY2013, or calendar year 2012. So it probably was engineered too early for this test. It’s possible GM had some insider knowledge that this test would eventually become part of the standard battery well before it did, but automakers have a habit of not addressing things until consumers start caring about them, so you know how that goes.

        • 0 avatar
          qfrog

          I want to say I read something about the most expensive part of a vehicle to engineer and develop is between the front seats and either the front suspension or the engine. That includes the crash structure and I am pretty sure the engine and transmission were not included in that area of the vehicle. I believe this info was about the MQB.

        • 0 avatar
          Chan

          “Platform” to me is just some loose term for shared parts. Modular architecture such as Volkswagen’s MQB goes further than the “platform” term to define shared components–suspension, powertrain sub-frames, etc.

          Platform sharing is often not visible from the outside. There is no way that physically dissimilar cars would share any body structure, so crash structure should still be unique to every make/model.

          I would expect that the only relation between the Challenger and whatever E-class generation is just a few suspension parts. Expect no similarity in their crash tests–in fact, try crashing an old E-class in this new IIHS test. I have $5 that says it would fail spectacularly.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      …and isn’t based on a older Mercedes platform?

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Older Renault platform.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the LX/LD/LC is NOT BASED ON A MERCEDES PLATFORM.

        jfc why are people still saying this?

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          Because we are dumbasses that don’t really care about Chryslers. Instead why don’t you point us to the Wikipedia article about LX platform then we can read about the LH and how it is related to Renault so we can be smart like you.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Here’s an interview with the project lead:

            https://www.allpar.com/history/interviews/burke-brown-lx.html

            About half way down is a section called Sharing with Mercedes and the myth of the “old E Class”

            Short version: LX design started before the Daimler deal. There was some parallel development with the then-new E-Class, and Chrysler used Mercedes’s rear end and transmission supplier, but they are not the same car.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            pfft. why would the project lead know more than Wikipedia?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I still want one.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Should have got a white one and rammed it into a bulldozer.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    This is extremely relevant to my interests. There is a fair (>50%) chance that I will be replacing my 2006 Acura RSX-S in either the fall of this year or early next year. I have a small family; me, wife, and a daughter. I want a 2 door, and I want something a little bigger on the inside than my RSX. In particular, something with a wider interior.

    I have considered all 3 of these and more. For better or worse I have ruled out the Challenger for a number of reasons, and I think I am leaning towards the Mustang. This video only reinforces that inclination. Although the strong crash performance of the Camaro is a little surprising.

    I wouldn’t say that crash stats are totally irrelevant to all purchasers of these cars; they are relevant to me. Although I admit they aren’t as high on my priority list as some in my extended family would like.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Camaro would be awesome if you only didn’t have to see things while driving.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        I actually don’t mind the Camaro on that account. In fact, in a weird way I like it. The visibility isn’t as bad as people think, but you do have to set your mirrors correctly and make smart use of the reversing camera.

        So why do I like it? In Texas, I see that tiny greenhouse and think “gee, less glass area to roast me alive”.

        So why am I leaning to the Mustang? I have had some bad experience with GM quality, I think the Mustang is a nicer interior (complaints on hazard light placement noted), and the trunk is more generous (13.5 cu ft vs 9.1).

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          The mirrors on the Camaro barely outrank the surface area of a dental mirror in my experience.

          Not that this problem is limited to the Camaro…

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            I think it’s safe to say we have extremely different tastes in vehicles. In my opinion, from my test drives, the Camaro’s side mirrors are generous and adequate.

            Now for genuinely small mirrors, you should try the mirrors on my ’86 RX-7 GXL. Those are literally about the size of a mid-size smartphone. And when I say literally I mean it. I would have to measure it at home, but I guess the diagonal is about 5″ to 5.5″. But I find that they are adequate for their job if you spend time setting them correctly.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Geez. Are the mirrors on the new Camaro the same size as the outgoing model? I thought the mirrors on the outgoing model were completely useless due to the lack of area I could see, it required me to look over my shoulder for every movement. Very uncomfortable coming out of my DD.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “Geez. Are the mirrors on the new Camaro the same size as the outgoing model?”
            They don’t look any different to me. Again, we just have different expectations in our cars and that’s OK. From my perspective, the Camaro’s side mirror is perfectly fine. From yours, you obviously prefer a larger mirror. Neither of us are wrong or right, we just have our own preferences.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Absolutely.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            So out of curiosity I measured the RX-7’s mirror when I got home. It is 7″ wide by 3.5″ tall.

        • 0 avatar
          jeanbaptiste

          I hate to be that guy who brags about his new car to anyone who will listen but I recently offloaded my LS400 and bought a new GTI. I find space in that car pretty good and I can fit my 7 and 5 year old in their FF car seats behind me and my wife (who are both around 6 foot). I don’t find that the car is cramped for me as a driver or my wife as a passenger.
          I thought that coming from a RWD car that I would hate the FWD but for 99.% of the driving its a pretty nice car. The other .0% is when I wanted to get the back end out on wet roads and I’ll just not have that fun anymore :(

          Just food for thought.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Interesting transition, an LS400 to an GTI. What made you do so?;

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            The folks who frequent this haunt have a tendency to say the answer to every automotive question is Miata, but realistically, the GTI is a much better choice for most.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            I am glad that you like your GTI, but it’s not for me. I just don’t like hatchbacks. I am already in a sortof-hatchback (RSX is a liftback), and I would like to get back into something with a trunk.

          • 0 avatar
            jeanbaptiste

            @28-Cars-Later (I don’t see a reply button under your post)

            I’ve had “sporty” cars since early on. Noteable ones including a 85 300zx, 87 mr2, 85 mr2, 97 miata, 2002 is300, 1997 M3. I had the M3 when my second child came along and while I wanted to share my love of cars with the boys, the fragility of the M3 wasn’t going to last through kids. The M3 was already starting to deteriorate and I hate to have broken stuff.
            So soon after the second boy came I picked up the LS for pretty cheap. This allowed the kids to ride with me on the weekends and the car could take all the abuse of the kids. I didn’t worry what they did to this car. It helped stepped back from the “tuner” mentality that I had and it allowed me to enjoy the car for the virtues it had. It really was a good quality car, probably the highest quality that i will ever own. It wasn’t sporty at all though.

            But as my kids grew older and my itch for something started, I weighed my needs and I didn’t need a large car for what was mostly commuting. The boys were older and wouldn’t tear up the car as much. I still needed the option to bring them along if the need arose. I was jonesing for a mustang or something with a RWD and a stick, I wanted torque and something at least a little sporty. After sitting in the mustang and realizing that the back seat was a miserable place to be i had to start branching out.

            On a whim I drove a stick shift GTI and it really stuck with me. The fit and finish was excellent, the ride was decent, handling was good, the power was decent, Fuelly MPG was good, the prices are good right now and basically all the reviews of the car echo the same thing. “Really good car at doing everything just not a superstar in any one thing”. For what I need, good at everything is a perfect fit.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Even with the bad visibility (IMO), if I didn’t have to frequently transport elderly folks the Camaro would be on my *maybe* list. Ive had fairly good luck with GM stuff and my cargo hauling needs are low. I’m not really into Mustangs that don’t wear a hypothetical Lincoln badge.

          Right now I’m kind of leaning towards an Infiniti to replace my basket-case Dodge.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          DevilsRotary,

          I was at my friends’ garage half hour ago, and they had received a 2009 128i with 80k. Selling for $11. Before I could claim it, someone already had… sold. The car was black, STICK SHIFT, lowered and had sport non-oem exhaust. I don’t care about the last two, but it sounds like a car you might consider.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Local Chevy dealers are giving away periscopes with every Camaro purchase.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The small overlap is a fairly new test, and the Challenger was engineered before the advent of said test. So this is not to be unexpected. I remember that some all-new minivans fared even worse when the moderate overlap was introduced in the late 90s. It’s all par for the course, and I suspect the next Challenger or its successor will address this issue (ahem) head-on.

    In general, though, it’s better to impact an object with the entire front end of your car than with part of it, which exerts forces over a much smaller area. That’s any car. But the reality is that a full frontal collision is an ideal scenario, especially during crossover accidents (someone crossing the yellow line and hitting a vehicle in the opposing traffic lane at speed) or when someone realizes he’s about to hit an object, then tries to swerve but doesn’t quite make it.

    Interestingly, even some of Volvo’s older designs (like the XC90 that bowed in 2003 and was revamped in 2007) sail through this test. Volvo’s are unique in that they shear off the impacted corner of the car—dissipating the crash forces with it—and the rest of the vehicle almost slides past the rigid object that the car collided against. Volvos are some of the safest cars in which to experience a small overlap collision because of this Why can’t other automakers do this?

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      And in the real world how many people are injured or killed in accidents of this type? The 40 mph speed is quite high for an impact speed. But then I drive old British cars and ride both old british and modern motorcycles, so what do I know about safety.

      I do know results of this type of test would not swing me toward or away from a car I liked.

      • 0 avatar
        photog02

        IIHS tests are modeled on real world crashes. Offset/moderate overlap replicates the type of crash experienced when a driver drifts out of his lane on a two-lane road, or some types of intersection collisions. So this is a very important test.

      • 0 avatar
        olivebranch2006

        IIHS has said 25% of all serious injury or fatality crashes are from small overlap style crashes.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it’s not dissipating anything, it’s deflecting the car away from the barrier. This is also why the 2013 Fusion did fairly well on this test.

      • 0 avatar
        olivebranch2006

        To say there is no energy dissipation isn’t true. There is plenty of energy dissipation on volvo small overlap crash tests as the barrier rips through the fender and front wheel. Finally, the barrier hits the boron steel safety cage and the crash energy bounces the car off the barrier instead of deforming the safety cage. That energy is dissipated as physical motion off the barrier. Even if the car could not bounce off the barrier, the boron steel cage would effectively end the crash immediately instead of deforming.
        Because the boron steel is so rigid it will not deform but after repeated blows, its tendency is to crack. Thats why soft steel up front and UHSS or boron steel in the cage. End Ramble :)

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      “Volvos are some of the safest cars in which to experience a small overlap collision because of this Why can’t other automakers do this?”

      Partially because they teach to the test: They design to pass crash tests, whereas Volvo actually tries (And Saab, RIP, tried) to make their cars safe in general.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Consequently, the Challenger is still suitable for sale in India.

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      No, because the Challenger would experience a full head on collision with one of the tiny cars in India as a small overlap impact and we all know how that goes for the driver of the Challenger.

  • avatar
    RetroGrouch

    That is not too bad for a 20 year old parts bin car. Unfortunately, FiatDodge does not have the skill set or willpower to design a proper replacement (lighter, better crash performance). The shareholders have wrung all they can from that line. It’s time to close shop and move investment to another automaker.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The LX / LY platform does use some older Mercedes-Benz components, but you’d be surprised how common that is / was. I’d still call it a new platform from 2005 on, so it’s not that old.

      Right now, we’re going through a wave of from-the-ground-up, brand-new platforms with other automakers (like Ford’s CD4 and GM’s new C2XX). But you can bet those architectures will then be in use for at least 12 years after their inception.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        I can think of two exceptions to the idea that offset crash performance is imparted at the platform level. My understanding is that the F150 series has different models. One of those is equipped with some sort of added link that upgrades the rating on the offset. The Prius c is another one. The original 2012 did poorly on the offset, whereas the 2015 does better due to some sort of changes.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          ttacgreg – Ford had gamed the offset crash by incorporating deflection bars at the back of the wheel well in the SuperCrew only. The IIHS used to test only the most popular configurations. Ford was saving money by not using the same bars in the extended cab and regular cab models. Since that news came out IIHS now tests more models and Ford now engineers all of their F150’s to the same higher standard. The new aluminum F150 had the best offset crash test results. The Ram 1500 like the Challenger was a death trap for anyone who likes walking upright.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Yet another concrete example that if the manufacturers are not forced (or shamed) into it, you get the minimum.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        I wonder how much the new Mustang platform will evolve with the next chassis that is slated to appear around 2020 from what I understand.

        I suppose if the rumor is true I wonder what hand the new Camaro might have played in that since it pretty much handed the Mustang its ass in the performance arena?

        I don’t think if the rumor is true that it will be a clean sheet design but I suppose they might be making some serious effort at weight reduction since that is where the Camaro differed the most (well that and power as it appears to have been substantially underrated by GM).

        Also on the same rumor mill note when Pericak had said the S550 was lighter than the car it was replacing it wasn’t far off the mark but apparently Ford had considered using the chassis for some RWD Lincoln and wanted it beefed up (for NVH I’d guess) and Pericak had to just settle for “we are meeting our weight targets”.

        I read that on GM insider some time ago but hadn’t heard much else about it and have always wondered if that was a big reason for the S550 being a relative porker compared to the new Camaro.

      • 0 avatar
        RetroGrouch

        Parts bin is not just a “parts bin” like GM did through the 90s. I’m sure there is some structure and critical dimensioning in there as well from whatever 3rd world taxi of a Mercedes those parts came from. That “old German junk” was better than anything Dodge ever built. Nearly a decade’s worth of Daimler DNA produced the best driving vehicles ever produced by AMC/Eagle/Plymouth/Dodge. As far as I can tell, they did not inherit the typical German lack of reliability (obviously a good thing).

        The Neon was an accident enabled only by a handful of autocross enthusiasts in a back office somewhere in Auburn Hills. I think they spiked management’s coffee every morning for a year or two while they tested suspension tuning. There is no way Fiat will let that happen again.

        I hope they can milk those architectures for another decade or so. Fleets eat them up. Most local police cruisers are Chargers. Beyond that, Fiatsler is dead if they cannot figure out how to Americanize their European stock in a way that pleases enthusiasts. How is that Dart doing?

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          The Dodge Neon was actually intended to have a two stroke engine – it would have saved the car a few hundred pounds and would have made it considerably better. Apparently they couldn’t meet some CARB emissions and they scrapped the two-stroke and dropped in an inline-4 and the extra weight caused some last minute redesigns that were sub-optimal.

          • 0 avatar
            yamahog

            @RetroGrouch

            Read your link again – “That was the design to end up in the 1997 Neon – but it clearly did not! The goal of selling 25,000 North American 2-stroke Neons per year never resulted in a single sale.”

            The Neon was supposed to have a two stroke but they couldn’t meet NOx emissions requirements.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          this entire comment of yours is utter nonsense. The LX/LD/LC is not based on a Mercedes platform, and everything you said about the Neon is BS trolling.

          • 0 avatar
            RetroGrouch

            “The LX/LD/LC is not based on a Mercedes platform”

            I’m not sure why anyone would complain about S class DNA but it is in there and it was wonderful. From the LX jihadists:
            http://www.lxforums.com/board/showthread.php/192045-Can-we-put-this-myth-to-bed

            I have to agree with the BS 2 stroke Neon trolling. Chrysler was certainly looking into 2 strokes at the time but the car was certainly not “intended” to sport such a beast.
            http://www.allpar.com/neon/stroke.html

            I stand by my comment that the performance of the Neon was essentially a happy accident. Chrysler never gave a crap about the everyday enthusiast and Fiatdodge will continue that tradition.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Dodge… the fastest growing brand of marginal vehicles.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    With the HELLCAT CHALLENGER you can hit THE BARRIER faster and with MORE RAGE. The barrier will CRY with fear because of HELLCAT.

    Trump.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    No fair! Mustangs get all kinds of extra practice at cars and coffee events!

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Gonna go off topic and ask a quick question, are the comments for the Mini article closed for some reason? Or is it just me?

    I didn’t really have anything useful to add, some would even say I never do, but… It is what it is.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yes! I see that as well. No reply or comment boxes available. Never seen that before on this site.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Yea, I was thinking the same thing, I’ve never seen an article comment section turned off here before.

        Oh well, it’s not completely out of line for the situation I suppose.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I think an editor is about to tell some people they were being mean in their comments on that article.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I don’t think it (as in the criticism she received) was *that* bad.
          (Unless of course it was already deleted.)

          It was a pretty low quality review, I am far removed from being a writer or purveyor of the English language, so when I notice something is written pretty poorly, there are some real quality problems. Granted, if she enjoys writing reviews maybe she needs the constructive criticism and practice before she perfects it. I’m not saying I could do it better but she could at least be more objective.

          I can name multiple things on every vehicle I own that I dislike. There’s no way any human being that did not see a vehicle through 100% of its development cannot find a couple things they dislike.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          If, *IF* the comment thread was shut down to prevent further criticism of the review, it would be an interesting juxtaposition to TTAC’s “no holds barred” mission statement and the culture of this website that has long criticized the way mainstream autojournalism protects their interests with softball reviews.

          Perhaps, like Bark did awhile ago with his editorial on auto journalists who don’t own cars, this needs to be expressed somewhere other than the comment thread of a particularly egregious review.

        • 0 avatar
          Piston Slap Yo Mama

          Luckily it wasn’t about a girl’s love for her Corolla, that really brings out the rage in some of the B&B.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      probably because some of you can’t handle the fact that a woman dared to have an opinion.

  • avatar
    319583076

    This is extremely relevant to my interests because I’m planning on striking a rigid, fixed object with 25% of the frontal area of my vehicle at about 40 mph very soon. As an ankle lover and foot enthusiast, I frown upon the thought of lower limb entrapment during, or immediately after, my planned excursion. Also, my lower limbs are currently boltless – so some non-wrench related measures would be required to extract me from the vehicle. What a special time to be alive, I’m elated we are sharing this experience together. Shalom, friends!

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Yeah, tacky bravado that’s beneath you.

      You’ve repeatedly said admiring things about Challengers and your self-modelling as Scion of Western Rationality (and Nuneracy!) won’t let you ignore this.

      Or you wouldn’t have worked up a gob of snark about it.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “This is extremely relevant to my interests because I’m planning on striking a rigid, fixed object with 25% of the frontal area of my vehicle at about 40 mph very soon.”

      yeah, and I’m sure a family member of mine was planning on striking a utility pole in almost exactly this manner last march.

      nobody “plans” collisions.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      I’m not convinced the small overlap test is really something to help you decide which car you want, but without continuous safety improvements our cars would still be built with thick metal and no crumple zones like in the 1950s. Where do you draw the line?

      I don’t “plan” on being in an accident, either. Should I just not wear my seat belt then?

  • avatar

    What about the “Spin out, bounce over a curb, and back into a wall exiting a donut shop parking lot” test? That seems the most appropriate for this set of cars.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    I can say my 2013 Mustang (or I should say former Mustang since it was totaled) did extremely well in a side impact. We were hit by a full side pick up truck at, per the police report, a roughly 45 degree angle; I was moving at about 40 mph the fellow that hit me at about 35 at the time of impact. The damage: the door hinges are ripped due to Fire and Rescue cutting off the door to remove me from the car, prior to that I am told the door was bowed inward about 10 inches – the inner door panel moved inward only about 3 inches, the driver window and driver side passenger window were both blown out, body damage down the driver side of the car and frame damage – a total loss.

    There were 4 of us in the car, i came away with a ruptured left eardrum, and cuts on the left side of my face/neck/ear; rear driver side passenger had cut on his neck from glass; rear passenger side passenger was cut on her forehead (she was hit by the driver side view mirror); front passenger had a welt on her neck and chest from the seatbelt……..and that is all.

    If anyone asks me if Mustangs are well built and protect passengers well……I have to say without hesitation YES!

    https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/[email protected]/25851034030/

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      One of the bigger problems with the previous generation (for the safety standards when they were engineered) was the lack of rear side airbags. This was highlighted in crash test results, the videos made the rounds years ago. It was a bit unfortunate that this wasn’t addressed until the big update in ’15.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      The S-197 has been pretty good in a side impact. When the car first rolled out one of the people on my Mustang hangout was t-boned right at the A-pillar hard enough that it bowed the dash and both passengers walked away without injury (well other than the usual sore muscles) The vehicle (A Passat IIRC) hit them after running a light and the driver hadn’t even slowed down so the estimate was around 50-55 mph.

      My ’15 (RIP) S550 did pretty good in a offset front impact. Kid in a mid ought Civic went all kamikaze and decided the cross into my lane and hit my car and we were both going (I guess he was) around the posted limit of 35 mph when we collided. I had some medical issues but that Civic (07???) was a mess though and they had to load the kid up in an ambulance and cart him off after cutting him out of the car.

      My other S-197 story involved my mom going about 60 mph on a curvy road (45 mph posted limit) with some deep ditches. She very foolishly swerved to avoid hitting some animal and the road was slick after a rain and the car slid and when it caught traction went into a ditch and pole vaulted into the woods and ended up coming to a rest about 20 or so feet into the woods.

      She was lucky in that she narrowly missed a stump but the car slid the entire way on the roof. she had a niece and nephew in the car and they walked away with scratches, mom fractured a vertebrae and needed a neck brace for a few months but the car did its job and the roof did not collapse completely.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Oldest design = lowest score on crash test

    And the news is?

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Well, look on the positive side, you will end up becoming one with the car and both can be laid to rest together in some junkyard and save on funeral and casket costs.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Probably just as well that comments were closed early on the Clubman piece. I’m with WhiskeyRiver. Is it necessary to be rude and insulting? I think a lot of cowardly types hide behind their anonymity. Anyway, I really only wanted to point out that for forty grand, you could get a Golf R fully rigged out. I know which I’d choose.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Despite what I said I have no desire to insult or demean the writer, but clearly the standards are below what this audience expects from a review. You don’t go into a biker bar and order an Earl Grey Tea (whatever that is), and expect everyone to be dressed in suits and ties.
      Again no disrespect, but I have to imagine if I were to write for a site I would probably read old stories that were very successful to get a feel for the comments they elicit.

      I don’t want any of our writers to leave or be run off by the commentators(including myself), but rather be successful in creating a unique style that is professional and objective.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Really, we’re internet cowards? I reread the comments and saw nothing that could be construed as an ad hominem attack on the author like the Corolla in Hawaii essay that blew the place up.

      The criticism was about her writing and objectivity, and rightly so. The author is not a newbie earnestly trying out car reviewing for the first time in our little online community. If she had, for my part it would have been a very different reaction here. She has a fairly lengthy record of putting out extremely complimentary reviews with at least one other outlet. As a professional reviewer, I don’t see why punches need to be pulled on her work.

      Have you ever seen reviewer’s comments on a scientific manuscript being considered for publication? We were very very nice.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Some good points, but I’m more inclined to put this on Steph. If something is not up to standards, it shouldn’t be put up at all. If the person in charge thinks it’s good enough, let him step in to defend it when the heat’s turned up a little. I imagine that the writer believed the piece would get a decent reception. No one likes to look and feel bad. I’m afraid the internet encourages a lot of comment that one would be loathe to say face to face. Most people I know are pretty nice to each other.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Hey, we’re full of keyboard warriors out here. Welcome to the Internet, circa 1998!

  • avatar
    JimZ

    so the oldest car of the three does the worst on a test that’s only a couple of years old. shock.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    They totalled twelve nice cars (four each Camaro, Challenger and Mustang; for small front overlap, moderate front overlap, side impact and roof strength–and all of the ones I saw seemed to be either the SS, R/T or GT versions) for this?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yes, what’s your problem with it? the insurers have a vested interest in making cars safer for the occupants, because they cut far smaller checks to repair or replace busted up cars than they do to repair busted up people. Obv they can’t replace busted up people.

      cars nowadays are designed to sacrifice themselves to save the occupants.

  • avatar

    I just came here to read the comments.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    A guy at work let his 17 year old nephew drive his ’15 R/T and he promptly hit a ditch culvert at 80mph with his 3 buddies in the car and cartwheeled it a few times. They all walked away, so it fares well in the drunken dumbass collision test.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    I’m just happy there’s one less ghastly purple car on public roads.

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