The United States' Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently rolled out its small overlap front crash test which replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. Of the 13 small SUVs subjected to the new test, only two models passed: the Subaru Forester and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which is sold in our market as the ASX.
According to the organization, although most vehicles today are designed to do well in the US government's full-width front crash test and in the institute's moderate overlap front test, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good performance in a small overlap crash. In a 2009 study by the organization, small overlap crashes reportedly accounted for nearly 25 percent of the frontal crashes that either seriously or fatally injured front passengers, since the type of impact "misses the primary structures designed to manage crash energy."
Of the two vehicles that passed, the Forester registered a 'Good' rating for the test, while the ASX earned an 'Acceptable' rating.
"With the redesigned Forester, Subaru's engineers set out to do well in our new test, and they succeeded," said IIHS vice president for vehicle research Joe Nolan. "This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection for people in these kinds of serious frontal crashes."
UPDATE: We have added a table showing the performance ratings of the 13 compact SUVS that were subjected to the small overlap front crash test. You can find the table below the video.
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Legend: G - good; A - acceptable; M - marginal; P - poor