Auto insurance news looks good for SUV owners after crash testing

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2014 midsize models were able to receive the top ratings from an industry group’s tests.

Hybrid Auto Insurance Crash TestThough the midsize SUVs that underwent auto insurance industry group crash testing didn’t do well as a whole, two out of the nine models managed to receive the highest ratings.

The GMC Terrain and the Chevrolet Equinox, both General Motors products, received the best “good” rating.

Those two models received the highest “good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This rating could help to play a role in the auto insurance premiums that will be paid by the drivers of those models. Within the second best, “acceptable” rating among the 2014 models, was the Toyota Highlander.

The auto insurance industry safety ratings for the remainder weren’t quite as positive.

In fact, the Toyota 4Runner, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Ford Explorer scraped by with only “marginal” ratings, while the Honda Pilot, the Mazda CX-9, and the Kia Sorento scored “poor” ratings.

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These various ratings were assigned based on the performance of these vehicles within six different crash test measurements that were conducted by the IIHS. Only the Terrain and the Equinox were able to score a “good” rating within the front overlap crash test, which replicates the situation when a vehicle’s front corner collides with an object (such as a utility pole) or another vehicle. Within the test, on the driver’s side, 25 percent of the front end strikes a rigid barrier at a speed of 40 miles per hour.

That test is relatively new, having been brought into the institute’s crash testing in 2012. It is even more difficult than the U.S. government’s frontal crash test. In that test, the vehicle travels at 35 miles per hour and strikes a rigid barrier head on. According to the IIHS, by striking only part of the front end, instead of hitting the barrier head on, it is more difficult for a vehicle to manage the crash’s energy. This test is very hard for manufacturers to beat and “continues to challenge manufacturers more than a year and a half after its introduction,” according to the IIHS.

These tests help to motivate vehicle manufacturers to continually improve the safety of their vehicles as high scores can be a selling feature for people concerned with safety and auto insurance rates.

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