Vehicles from Kia and Nissan Earn Top Awards from IIHS
Image: Nissan

Vehicles from Kia and Nissan Earn Top Awards from IIHS

April 12, 2016

Vehicles from Kia and Nissan are the latest to take home top awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The redesigned 2017 Kia Sportage increased its ratings in the small overlap crash test, and the Nissan Sentra and Infiniti QX60 earned valuable points with a superior front crash prevention system. The IIHS awarded all three with Top Safety Pick+ honors.

Redesign Makes Vast Improvement for Sportage

Now built on the same platform as the 2016 Hyundai Tucson, the small SUV jumped from a "poor" to a "good" rating in the small overlap front crash test.

In the previous generation, the driver's space was seriously compromised as the parking brake pedal was pushed in 16 inches. The steering column moved 4 inches toward the dummy and 6 inches to the right, causing the dummy's head to slide off the left side of the airbag. To make matters worse, the side curtain airbag didn't deploy.

The redesigned model held up much better, with less intrusion and well-controlled dummy movement. It also continued to do well in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

To obtain the "plus" rating, the Sportage earned a "superior" rating for its optional front crash prevention system. The SUV avoided a collision in both the 12 mph and 25 mph track tests. The system also includes a warning component.

The Sportage's new optional front crash prevention system earns a superior rating. The SUV avoided a collision in both the 12 mph and 25 mph IIHS track tests. The system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

Nissan Front Crash Prevention Earns High Marks

Front crash prevention systems in both the Nissan Sentra and the Infiniti QX60 earned "superior" ratings. The Sentra, a small car, and the QX60, a midsize luxury SUV, already earned "good" ratings in all other IIHS crash tests. The optional crash prevention systems only recently became available for testing. Both vehicles have a collision warning component.

The Sentra avoided a collision in the 12 mph test and in the 25 mph test, the car's impact speed was reduced by an average of 10 mph.

The QX60 avoided a collision in both tests.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, the Institute's highest award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, plus an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.