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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a series of tests to give 20 vehicles safety ratings. The ratings were “good”, “acceptable” and “poor”. Out of 20 vehicles tested, only two subcompact SUV models received poor ratings. Here are the two least safe subcompact SUVs of 2021.

The Honda HR-V is one of the least safe subcompact SUVs of 2021

A gray Honda HR-V is driving on the highway next to the ocean.
The Honda HR-V | Honda

According to CNN Business, the Honda HR-V was one of the vehicles that received a poor rating from the IIHS. This means that the organization did not think the HR-V provided acceptable protection for vehicle occupants in the event of an accident. In fact, the IIHS claimed that the HR-V’s B-pillars were a structural issue, and crash dummies sustained damage when the subcompact SUV was tested.

The Honda HR-V isn’t the safest small SUV on the market, but that’s just one of its many flaws. Its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine only makes a measly 141 horsepower. The HR-V lacks power, and its ride quality leaves much to be desired.

The IIHS conducted a new side-impact test this year because side-impact accidents were responsible for almost a quarter of vehicle occupant deaths back in 2019. The HR-V performed poorly during this test when a barrier the weight of a mid-size SUV was thrust into its side at 37 miles per hour. The subcompact SUV just isn’t well-equipped for accidents, and that makes it risky to buy.

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is the other least safe subcompact SUV tested by the IIHS

A red 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross at the Vienna Car Show
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross | Manfred Schmid via Getty Images

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is yet another unpopular subcompact SUV model that didn’t perform well during the IIHS’ extensive safety tests. The Eclipse Cross has been criticized for offering little value as a base model. It starts at $23,695, which is more expensive than better subcompact SUVs like the Kia Soul and Hyundai Kona.

On top of being one of the least safe subcompact SUVs on the market, the Eclipse Cross has an underwhelming interior that doesn’t match its modern exterior design. It also isn’t very fuel-efficient. The Eclipse Cross gets 26 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

Buy these SUVs instead of the Honda HR-V or Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

A gray Mazda CX-5 is driving on the road.
The Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Thankfully for drivers, the compact SUV class is competitive, and there are plenty of models that are better than both the Honda HR-V and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. The Mazda CX-5 received the best rating from the IIHS, and it starts at just $25,370.

The Mazda CX-5 also features a refined cabin and plenty of standard tech and safety features. It’s a great first SUV for teen drivers. Aside from the compact CX-5, there are plenty of subcompact models that are better than the HR-V or Eclipse Cross. Consumers should also consider the Kia Soul, Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, Buick Encore GX, Hyundai Venue, or Chevrolet Trailblazer before either of the two least safe subcompact SUVs.


What Does the Honda HR-V Have to Offer?