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SUV vs Small Car Crash Test

A 2016 Kia Sorento, a midsize SUV, and a 2018 Kia Forte which is a small sedan collided with each other.

The vehicles traveled toward each other at 40 mph, with 50 percent of the smaller vehicle’s width overlapping the larger vehicle. Forces on the driver dummies in the smaller vehicle were much greater than those in the larger vehicles.

Measurements indicated a high likelihood of head injuries for the driver of both the small car vs the larger SUV in a real-world crash of the same severity. Right leg injuries would be likely in the small car. Neck and chest injuries would also be possible for drivers of both vehicles, and left leg injuries would be possible in the small car.

In contrast, the larger SUV had mostly good injury measures, aside from a possible right leg injury in both.

The structures of the small car, which weighs 928 pounds less than the SUV didn’t hold up as well against the larger vehicle as in the car-to-barrier tests that IIHS ratings are based on.

In the crash with the SUV, the smaller car had an acceptable structural rating, with maximum intrusion of 8 inches at the left toepan. In contrast, the smaller car earned good structural ratings in the moderate overlap and the driver-side small overlap front crash tests.

The SUV had good structural performance in the paired crashes.

“Bigger vehicles provide greater protection,” Cicchino says. “If you’re riding in one of the smallest vehicles on the road, you’ll be at a disadvantage in a crash with almost any other vehicle around you.”

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