The Subaru Forester and Mitsubishi RVR (called Outlander Sport in the U.S.) are the only two small CUV/SUVs to earn a 'Top Safety Pick ' crash-test rating from the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS).
To achieve that status they passed the IIHS's new' small overlap' frontal crash test, as well as attaining 'good' ratings in moderate overlap front, side, rollover and rear crash tests .
Eleven other small utes were rated either "marginal" or "poor" in the small overlap test.
In that test, just the left front corner of the vehicle impacts a barrier at 64 km/h, simulating an impact with an object such as a tree or pole or a partial overlap hit with an oncoming vehicle.
The small overlap test is not included in Canadian or U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards nor is it considered in the U.S. government's five-star rating system.
While only the Forester and RVR/Outlander Sport earned the top honours, the IIHS continues to award Top Safety Pick status (without the "plus") to vehicles with good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap ratings.
Of the small CUV/SUV test group, ten earned Top Safety Pick status, including the 2013 BMW X1, Buick Encore, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Volkswagen Tiguan as well as the 2014 Jeep Patriot.
The RAV4 was not subjected to the small overlap test asToyota asked for a delay so it could make changes to the vehicle to improve performance in the test.
The Buick Encore, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Patriot and Kia Sportage all got "poor" ratings on the small overlap test.