Hyundai Tucson only compact crossover to pass IIHS passenger small overlap test

2016 Hyundai Tucson

Drivers in the market for a compact crossover who want protection for themselves as well as their front passenger may want to consider buying the 2016 Hyundai Tucson.

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that the Tucson was the only small SUV out of seven studied that provided good driver-side and passenger-side small overlap ratings.

IIHS developed the small overlap test in 2012 to study what happens when the front corner of a vehicle crashes into an object or another vehicle. The test looks at a width of 25 percent on the driver and passenger sides. IIHS also has a moderate overlap test, which involves looking at 40 percent of the width of the vehicle. IIHS said that results from the moderate overlap test have prompted vehicle manufacturers to make safety changes.

Since it started the small overlap crash test, 13 manufacturers have made changes to 97 vehicles, IIHS indicated.

“This is an important aspect of occupant protection that needs more attention,” said Becky Mueller, IIHS senior research engineer and lead author of the small overlap test study. “More than 1,600 right-front passengers died in frontal crashes in 2014.”

Hyundai indicated that it’s pleased with the results from the IIHS study and said that it shows the company’s commitment to ensuring its drivers are safe and protected.

“Our 2016 Tucson’s good rating for both driver and passenger in the demanding IIHS small overlap crash test reflects our commitment to passenger safety at every level,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president, Corporate and Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America.

IIHS’ study also found that the 2015 Toyota RAV4 and the 2014 Nissan Rogue were the only vehicles to appear asymmetrical, and had the highest amount of passenger-side intrusion. The RAV4, which IIHS gave a poor provisional passenger-side rating, had a maximum intrusion in the passenger-side test at 13 inches more than in the driver-side test. The Rogue, which IIHS gave a marginal provisional passenger-side rating, had 10 inches more. Overall, the RAV4 was the worst performer in the passenger-side test, the IIHS study indicated.

IIHS indicated that intrusion measures show how well the vehicle can hold up in a crash. Plus, the greater the intrusion the more likely a person will sustain a serious injury.

The 2014 Subaru Forester, which IIHS gave a marginal provisional passenger-side rating, and the 2015 Mazda CX-5, which IIHS gave an acceptable provisional passenger-side rating, appeared to be symmetrical but also had more intrusion in the passenger-side test than the driver-side test, IIHS indicated.

The other vehicles tested show similar structural performance on both sides.

The following is a list of the small SUVs tested and their ratings:

Driver Side Rating Provisional Passenger Side Rating
2016 Hyundai Tucson Good Good
2015 Buick Encore Good Acceptable
2015 Honda CR-V Good Acceptable
2015 Mazda CX-5 Good Acceptable
2014 Nissan Rogue Good Marginal
2014 Subaru Forester Good Marginal
2015 Toyota RAV4 Good Poor

Check out this TFLcar video review of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson: