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If you’re looking for a new SUV, you’ll want to check out safe cars versus unsafe cars to make sure that you’re buying something solid. How can you determine which are the safest cars? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests cars and SUVs to determine how they would hold up in a car accident. Recently two SUVs totally bombed their side crash tests, receiving an overall poor rating. Let’s look at what makes the 2022 Honda HR-V and 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross poor choices as far as safety goes.

A blue 2022 Honda HR-V driving through a city.
2022 Honda HR-V | Honda

The 2022 Honda HR-V and 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross aren’t considered safe cars

Both the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross have a lot going for them, but their side crash test ratings are poor. The IIHS recently made the side crash test evaluations more difficult in hopes of encouraging auto makers to produce safer vehicles. Only one SUV scored a good rating, and most scored either acceptable or marginal. Still, the 2022 Honda HR-V and 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross both got poor ratings in the IIHS side crash test.

The IIHS tested a 2021 Honda HR-V LX 4-door with 4WD, but the results apply to all 2017-2022 Honda HR-Vs built after March 2017. Overall, the Honda HR-V received a poor side crash test rating, as well as a poor structure and safety cage rating. The pelvis in both the driver injury measures and rear passenger injury measures both received a marginal rating. The torso received an acceptable rating.

The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross side crash ratings keep it from being a safe car

The IIHS tested a 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 4-door with 4WD, but the ratings apply to all Eclipse Cross models made between 2018 and 2022. While the previous side crash test criteria was good, the updated side crash test results are poor. The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross gets an overall poor rating, as well as a marginal structure and safety cage rating. The torso in the driver injury measures category is poor, while in the rear passenger injury measure it’s marginal. In addition, the pelvis in the driver injury measure is marginal.

What do side crash test ratings mean?

The IIHS says that about a quarter of vehicle fatalities happen in side crashes. The IIHS also says that, “Protecting people in side crashes is challenging because the sides of vehicles have relatively little space to absorb energy and shield occupants, unlike the fronts and rears, which have substantial crumple zones.”

To make vehicles safer, automakers have put in side airbags and strengthened vehicle structures. The IIHS hopes that by making side crash test evaluations even stricter, more automakers will work harder to make their vehicles perform better in side crashes. To do that, the IIHS redid its test to simulate a more severe crash. They also made a more realistic striking barrier, one that more closely resembles a crash with today’s SUVs.

If you want a safe car, you have plenty of choices. Check out the IIHS’ crash test ratings, and look for the updated side crash test results. Right now, the IIHS is adding the new side crash test evaluations to the ratings of vehicles, but in the future the updated crash test results will replace the old criteria. By carefully researching the safety ratings of the vehicle you’re interested in, you can be sure to get one of the safest cars that you can.


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