Top Safety Picks According to IIHS – Midsize Cars
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests vehicles annually to determine their crashworthiness. The IIHS is a non-profit organization that impartially assesses the year’s new vehicles. Their overall goal is to reduce injuries and deaths that result from vehicle collisions. They publish and rate good performers as a Top Safety Pick+, which are the best, or as a The Top Safety Pick, those rated as good within their size categories. Generally, there is a correlation between the size and weight of a vehicle and the level of passenger protection that the car can provide, as larger models perform better in crash testing.
Top Safety Pick+
- 2017 Honda Accord
The space encompassing the driver remained well intact, and the upper interior’s maximum intrusion was 12 cm. Based on observation of the dummy, there was a minimal risk of severe bodily injury. The airbag units in the front, side curtain, and side torso all performed very well.
- 2017 Kia Optima
It is interesting to note that the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata began being produced on the same core platform in 2016, which has delivered excellent safety results. The area surrounding the driver remained well intact with the maximum intrusion to the upper interior measuring 9-11 cm. The overall risk for bodily injury was low; however, the left foot of the driver could be susceptible to injury in severe collisions. The appropriate airbag units all deployed and functioned safely.
- 2017 Mazda 6
The model for 2017 remained largely the same as introduced in 2014, except that the airbag units in the side curtain were extended and their timing was better adjusted to improve performance in crashes at the front of the vehicle. The maximum intrusion for the upper interior was 6 cm. In severe crashes, it appeared that a risk existed for injury to the driver’s right leg, but the Mazda provided good safety from bodily harm. The airbags all performed well; however, the safety belt allowed for too much movement forward.
- 2017 Nissan Maxima
Nissan did not produce the Maxima for year 2015—they awaited the introduction of the redesigned 2016 model, which is also the basis for the 2017 model. The space encompassing the driver was well maintained and the maximum intrusion for the upper interior was 6-7 cm. The test suggested that there was a low risk for significant injuries. The seat belt and front airbag were not properly synchronized and the dummy’s head made contact with the trim around the interior door.
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