The 2013 Toyota RAV4 received a "Poor" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its rigorous small-overlap crash test. Vehicles that score highly on the small overlap test are eligible for the IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ award, but due to these results, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 will keep only its existing Top Safety Pick designation.
The small overlap test is designed to evaluate how a vehicle performs in a crash where another object impacts only part of the vehicle, simulating crashes into poles or glancing impacts with other vehicles. The test requires a vehicle traveling 40 mph to hit a stationary barrier that impacts just 25 percent of the car's frontal width. Previously, the IIHS reported that Toyota requested a delay before the 2013 RAV4 was evaluated in the small overlap crash test. The latest small overlap test results apply only to models manufactured after April 2013.
In the test, the IIHS reported that the 2013 Toyota RAV4 received a "Poor" rating for several reasons. First, the crash-test dummy's head moved too far sideways to hit the airbag, and the seatbelt allowed the dummy to move excessively far forward. In addition, the door hinge and pillar moved into the passenger compartment, potentially injuring the dummy's left leg and trapping its foot inside the foot well.
A statement from Toyota said, "The IIHS periodically develops new, more severe or specialized tests that go beyond federal requirements. With the small over-lap test, the Institute has raised the bar again, and we are responding to the challenge. We are looking at a range of solutions to achieve greater crash performance in this area." The automaker also noted that a total of 21 Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles are rated Top Safety Picks by the IIHS.
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 isn't the only crossover to fail the demanding small overlap crash test. In May, the IIHS announced that the 2013 Buick Encore, 2013 BMW X1, 2013 Ford Escape, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2013 Hyundai Tucson, 2013 Jeep Patriot, 2013 Jeep Wrangler two-door, the 2013 Kia Sportage, 2013 Mazda CX-5, 2013 Nissan Rogue, and 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan all scored either "Poor" or "Marginal" in small overlap testing.
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 debuted late last year with a fresh design, an updated interior, and slight powertrain revisions. A 176-hp, 2.5-liter inline-four engine and six-speed automatic transmission are standard; buyers pick between front- and all-wheel drive.Pricing for the 2013 Toyota RAV4 starts at $24,145, including an $845 destination charge.
Sources: IIHS, Toyota