Improvements to the Audi Q5 helped it earn a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Audi improved the structure of the midsized luxury SUV, which allowed it to perform better in the small overlap front crash test. Only SUVs built after January qualify for the award because those are the one with the reinforced front end and occupant compartment.
Added to the crash-test lineup in in 2012, the small overlap front crash test simulates an accident in which the left front corner collides with a fixed object at 40 mph.
According to a release from IIHS, when the test was performed on the Q5, the driver's space was maintained reasonably well, with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the lower door hinge pillar.
During the crash, the driver dummy's movement was well-controlled. The head hit the front airbag and stayed cushioned until rebound. The side curtain airbag deployed and provided enough forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects.
Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of injuries in a crash of this severity.
To qualify for Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must earn a good or acceptable small overlap rating and a good rating in the Institute's four other crashworthiness tests — moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.
The "plus" is awarded to vehicles that have an available front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating from IIHS. The Q5's optional system earns an advanced rating.