The Subaru Forester has become the first vehicle to score top marks in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) small overlap front crash test.

The new Subaru Forester was the only one of 13 'Small SUVs' tested by the US-based safety authority to earn a 'good' rating in the test.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (ASX in Australia) was rated ‘acceptable’, helping it join the Subaru in earning a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThtOh6_AvfQ

 

The other 11 SUVs tested – including popular models like the new Ford Escape (Kuga), Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan – were found to offer either ‘poor’ or ‘marginal’ protection in the challenging new small overlap front crash assessment.

Introduced last year, the test sees 25 per cent of the vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strike a barrier at 64km/h. It is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car strikes another vehicle or object like a tree or telephone pole.

The Forester earned ‘good’ ratings for structure, restraints and kinematics, and for all four injury measures on the dummy. The airbags fired off as intended and the space around the dummy was well maintained.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2qnmHNOuJA

 

In contrast, the Nissan Rogue earned a ‘marginal’ rating after the front pillar was pushed far inside the occupant compartment to almost touch the driver’s seat.

In the Jeep Patriot, the dummy’s head slid off the front airbag as the steering wheel moved 20cm up and 15cm to the right. The side airbag failed to deploy, while the seatbelt allowed the dummy’s head and torso to move too far forward.

IIHS vice president for vehicle research Joe Nolan praised Subaru for its benchmark safety achievement.

“With the redesigned Forester, Subaru's engineers set out to do well in our new test, and they succeeded,” Nolan said.

“This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection for people in these kinds of serious frontal crashes.”

Small SUV small overlap front crash test results:

  • Subaru Forester: Good
  • Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (ASX): Acceptable
  • BMW X1: Marginal
  • Honda CR-V: Marginal
  • Mazda CX-5: Marginal
  • Volkswagen Tiguan: Marginal
  • Buick Encore: Poor
  • Ford Escape (Kuga): Poor
  • Hyundai Tucson (ix35): Poor
  • Jeep Patriot: Poor
  • Kia Sportage: Poor
  • Nissan Rogue: Marginal
  • Jeep Wrangler: Marginal