The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed a battery of tests on new SUVs and determined that in 20-mph crashes the following vehicles performed poorly in the area of neck restraint:
BMW X3 and X5; Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Isuzu Ascender; Cadillac SRX; Chrysler Pacifica; Dodge Nitro; Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer; Mitsubishi Endeavor; Hummer H3; Hyundai Tucson; Jeep Liberty; Kia Sportage; Lexus GX470 and RX; Nissan Xterra; Saab 9-7X; Suzuki XL7; Toyota 4Runner and Highlander.According to the IIHS, headrest failings lead to two million claims per year at an annual cost of $8.5 billion. Considering these types of vehicles are often heavy, clumsy and have more blind spots than Stevie Wonder's Synclavier, 20 mph collisions are common. All is not lost however; jump for the mixed news.
The following big boys all performed well on the neck test:
Acura MDX and RDX; Lincoln MKX, Ford Edge and Ford Freestyle; Honda CR-V, Element and Pilot; Hyundai Santa Fe; Jeep Grand Cherokee; Kia Sorento; Land Rover LR3; Mercedes M Class; Mitsubishi Outlander; Subaru B9 Tribeca and Forester, and Volvo XC90.If trucks are your thing, we're sorry but all these were rated poorly:
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Classic and the GMC Sierra 1500 Classic; Dodge Ram 1500; Ford Ranger and Mazda B Series; Nissan Frontier and certain versions of Ford F-150, Dodge Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider.The only good truck of the bunch is the Toyota Tundra. Minivans are dangerous too, as all of these faired poorly:
Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander and Saturn Relay; some versions of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan; and the Toyota Sienna.As the Institutes's vice president David Zuby explains, "It's not a major feat of engineering to design seats and head restraints that afford good protection in these common crashes." For the record, we're with him. Carmakers, think of the children! – Jonny Lieberman
Crash test: Larger vehicles a pain in the neck [msnbc.com]