The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety sent 11 small cars and crossovers through a new, more challenging side crash test. Two of them received good scores, five were acceptable, and four received poor ratings – the lowest possible by the agency.
The table below shows the results:
|the car||Scores on the new Side Impact Test|
|2023 Mazda 3 Hatchback||good|
|2023 Mazda 3 Sedan||good|
|2022 Honda Civic Hatchback||acceptable|
|2022 Honda Civic Sedan||acceptable|
|2022 Nissan Sentra||acceptable|
|2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback||acceptable|
|2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan||acceptable|
|2022 Kia Forte||Poor|
|2022-23 Subaru Crosstrek||Poor|
|2022-23 Subaru Impreza Sedan||Poor|
|2022-23 Subaru Impreza Wagon||Poor|
The modified side crash test has a 4,200-pound barrier that hits the vehicle at 37 mph. The previous version weighed 3,300 pounds and had a top speed of 31 mph. The IIHS changed things when it found that nearly a quarter of the deaths in side-impact crashes occurred in more severe collisions than originally diagnosed.
To understand how much more challenging the new test is, it’s worth noting that all of these vehicles will receive good ratings in the original evaluation.
“Smaller, lower vehicles suffer damage when they hit the new test barrier, which is a more realistic representation of the front end of a typical modern SUV than our old barrier. Even for the occupants,” said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Becky Mueller.
In 2023, a good or acceptable score in a more severe side-impact crash is required to earn the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick award. A good rating is one of the requirements for High Security Select+.
In August 2022, the IIHS put seven midsize cars and crossovers through this test. The Subaru Outback was the only one with a good rating. Two models received acceptable scores. One was mediocre, and three were poor.
In October 2022, the agency evaluated the Ford Mustang Mach-E in a new side impact test. It received a good rating because the sensor showed a low risk of injury to the dummy.
The IIHS is making its awards harder to achieve in 2023. In addition to more stringent side-impact tests, there’s a new nighttime pedestrian crash protection test and a change in how the agency rates headlights.