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Compact SUVs Not as Safe for Front Passengers

July 7, 2016

Compact SUVs are one of the best-selling segments in the marketplace, but what a lot of car shoppers may not realize is that almost all of these SUVs fail to protect the front passenger adequately when involved in a small-overlap crash.

This is important, because 25% of all frontal crash fatalities is a result of a small-overlap crash (this is when the corner of the vehicle crashes into an object such as a pole or other vehicle).

The lack of passenger side protection in this type of crash came to light after the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) decided to test the passenger side instead of only the driver side during their crash tests.

Out of 7 vehicles tested, only the 2016 Hyundai Tuscon passed with a "good" rating. The 2016 Toyota RAV-4 performed the worst, with a "poor" passenger-side rating. Since the IIHS only tested compact SUVs, it's probably safe to assume that other types of vehicles also have poor passenger-side safety.

The car manufacturers claim they haven't had enough time to increase the safety of the front passenger compartment yet, deciding to make improvements to the driver's side first. However, to me, this just seems like cost cutting and hoping to get away with good crash test ratings with minimal effort.

Here are the results of the tests so far. If safety is of utmost importance to you, AND you usually have a passenger in the car, you may want to side with the Hyundai Tucson if you're shopping for a compact SUV.


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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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