Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain Rated Top Safety Pick+

2014 Chevrolet Equinox During IIHS Small Overlap Test 1 photo
Photo: IIHS
Out of nine midsize SUVs recently evaluated, only a handful earned the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). On the small overlap front crash test, the Equinox and its twin model from GMC were rated an overall "Good".
For those of you that don't know what the small overlap front crash test is, here's a small reminder: 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-high rigid barrier at 40 mph. This test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole. It's a more difficult test than either the head-on crashes conducted by the government or the IIHS moderate overlap test.

Worringly, most of the evaluated SUVs couldn't earn the much-coveted Top Safety Pick+ award because of less than satisfactory results in the overlap crash test. Jeep's Grand Cherokee along with Toyota's 4Runner and the Ford Explorer were rated "Marginal", while the Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot performed poorly.

The worst performer of the lot was the Honda Pilot. Testing showed that driver's space was heavily intruded by the car's structure, while the parking brake pedal moved inward a terrifying 16 inches. Combine that with the steering column that moved five and a half inches and you get the full picture of why the Pilot isn't the best car out there for experiencing a similar crash situation.

On GM front, the Equinox and Terrain join the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan in earning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ rating. “We are very pleased that the IIHS has recognized the safety of both the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain with this prestigious rating” said Gay Kent, director of General Motors Global Safety Strategy and Vehicle Programs.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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