The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and its GMC sibling, the 2014 Acadia both earned a Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The Equinox and the Terrain were the only two midsize SUVs of nine that earned the highest possible "Good" rating from the Institute's small front overlap crash test.The small overlap test requires 25 percent of a vehicles front end on the driver side hit a 5 foot high rigid barrier at 40mph. It is designed to replicate what happens when the corner of a vehicle clips another vehicle or object like a utility pole.Equinox and Terrain had already earned the Top Safety Pick distinction, however the criteria for Top Safety Pick+ requires a vehicle to offer a frontal crash alert system meeting IIHS requirements. The available forward collision alert on the Equinox and Terrain uses a camera to detect when a driver is at risk of hitting an object ahead, and will deliver visual and audible alerts to inform the driver of the hazard."Having the only two midsize SUVs that earned the Top Safety Pick Plus designation speaks to GM's focus on improving our vehicles by offering advanced crash avoidance technologies that can help avoid a crash, and by enhancing vehicle structure and occupant protection if a crash occurs," Gay Kent, director of GM Global Safety Strategy and Vehicle Programs, said in a statement.IIHS says that "a quarter of the serious injuries and deaths occurring in frontal crashes are in small overlap impacts where just the front corner of a vehicle clips the front of an oncoming car or strikes a tree or pole."Even in the best-scoring models, that left front portion of the vehicle is shoved back to the dashboard and mangled so badly it's unrecognizable. But in the top models, the major damage stops at the passenger compartment, and airbags cushion the blow to drivers.In the worst models, the front end of the vehicle is shoved well back into the passenger compartment, overcoming any help the driver might get from the airbags.The rankings of recently tested 2014 SUVs in the "small overlap" test, from best to worst:

  • Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain
  •  Toyota Highlander- Jeep Grand
  •  Toyota 4Runner- Ford Explorer
  •  Kia Sorento
  •  Mazda CX-9
  •  Honda Pilot

The Equinox and Terrain join two other GM vehicles with the IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ rating, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and the Chevrolet Spark.

Source: USA Today & IIHS.org


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