9 Popular Vehicles Scored Poorly on Recent Crash Testing

Out of 15 vehicles tested by the IIHS, nine scored poorly on the moderate overlap front evaluation crash test.
Written by Alexandra Maloney
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
For many drivers, when it comes to their vehicle, safety is of the utmost importance. It doesn’t matter how cool your car looks, or how powerful the engine is, if you don’t have a
safe vehicle
. Luckily, each year,
the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests vehicles
on a variety of safety measures, then makes that data available to the public for drivers.
In an updated moderate overlap front evaluation, the IIHS tested 15 small SUVs, and rated nine of them “poor” on the crash testing. These are the nine popular
car makes
with poor ratings, and the ones that fared the best.  

What is the updated moderate overlap front evaluation?

The moderate overlap front evaluation is a crash test conducted by the IIHS. According to the
, in the original moderate overlap front evaluation, a vehicle travels 40 mph toward a barrier with a dummy representing an average-sized man in the driver's seat. Today, all vehicles earn good ratings in protecting the dummy in the driver’s seat.
But, testing showed back-seat passengers would be more likely than front-seat passengers to be killed during the test. Therefore, the test was updated to include a second dummy in the backseat, representing a small woman or a child. The nine vehicles the IIHS scored poorly in the test did not protect the back-seat dummy well. 

What vehicles scored poorly?

Of the 15 small SUV vehicles tested by the IIHS, nine scored poorly in the moderate overlap front evaluation. They were the Buick Encore (2021-22), Chevrolet Equinox (2021-22), Honda CR-V (2021-22), Honda HR-V (2021-22), Hyundai Tucson (2021), Jeep Compass (2021), Jeep Renegade (2021-23), Mazda CX-5 (2021-22) and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2022-23).
The IIHS found that while all nine vehicles protected the front seat passenger adequately, there were high risks of head, neck, and chest injuries for the rear seat passenger, and found that the seat belt exerted excessive force on the rear seat passenger. In some vehicles tested, the rear seat passenger almost made contact with the front seat during the
, while in other vehicles the dummy’s head made hard contact with the vehicle or

What vehicles scored well?

Two of the 15 small SUVs tested in the moderate overlap front evaluation scored well in that they protected both the front seat and rear seat passenger adequately. These two vehicles were the 2022-23 Ford Escape (built after May 2022) and the 2021-23 Volvo XC40. 
reports that to earn a good rating in this test, crash forces measured by sensors in the rear seats must not exceed limits that would likely cause excessive head, neck, chest, abdomen or thigh injuries. Plus, restraints must protect the dummy’s head. And, out of all vehicles tested, the Ford Escape and Volvo XC40 proved to be the only vehicles able to deliver on these safety features. 
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