The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has completed its first-ever roof strength rating system that evaluates rollover safety for SUVs – and the results are surprising. The agency says that only four vehicles earned top marks and one set of twins, the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage, earned the agency’s lowest rating.
The evaluation involves pushing a metal plate against one side of the vehicle’s roof at a constant speed. To be rated “good,” the agency’s top level, the roof must be capable of withstanding four times the vehicle’s weight before reaching 5 inches of crush. IIHS calls it a “strength-to-weight” rating of 5:1; an acceptable rating is 3.25:1 and marginal is 2.5:1. IIHS rates anything lower “poor.”
The IIHS looked at 2009-model vehicles.
The “good”-rated vehicles included the Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forester, Honda Element and Jeep Patriot.
Earning the “acceptable” rating were the Suzuki Grand Vitara, Chevrolet Equinox/Pontiac Torrent, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue and Mitsubishi Outlander.
The “marginal” rating applied to the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner/Mazda Tribute.
And, bringing up the rear, were the nearly-identical Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, which are structurally identical, even though IIHS only tested the Kia.
I don’t think anyone is surprised