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December 16, 2022

Volvo XC40 Gives Equal Protection To Front And Rear Passengers Based On New Safety Test

In more automotive safety-related news, only two compact SUV managed to score a “Good” rating in the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)’s revised moderate overlap test: the Ford Escape (built after May) and the Volvo XC40 (lead photo). Only the XC40—introduced in 2017—passed the stricter requirements without major structural changes.

The IIHS is updating its longest-running crash test, the moderate overlap front evaluation, to address what it calls a growing gap in the protection provided for front and rear occupants. To achieve a “Good” rating in the updated test, vehicles must not only indicate minimal risk of injuries for front-row passengers but now must also show minimal risk of injuries for second-row passengers as well.

The “lynchpin” of the IIHS’s crash testing program, the moderate overlap test has a vehicle strike a barrier with a deformable face at 40 mph (64.3 km/h). Forty percent of the total width of the vehicle strikes the barrier on the driver side.

The Audi Q3, Nissan Rogue (X-Trail), and Subaru Forester—all from the 2021-2023 model years—earned a “Marginal” rating.

Nine others, including the 2021-2022 CR-V, 2021 Tucson, and 2021-2022 CX-5 all scored “Poor.”

It must be noted that all these 15 vehicles earned a “Good” rating in the IIHS’s original crash test—launched in 1995.

The IIHS says that equipping vehicles with crash pre-tensioners can help bump up their results. In addition, features such as rear-seat airbags and seat belts that inflate to mitigate the effects of crash forces also could help. However, fewer than half of new vehicles have advanced restraint systems in the rear seat.

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