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2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Rated Top Safety Pick +

Mitsubishi’s newest crossover passes the most difficult IIHS crash test.

Mitsubishi has been in need of some good news lately, and now it has some thanks to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which just rated the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander a Top Safety Pick +, the highest possible rating. To earn a Top Safety Pick + designation, vehicles must score a good rating in the moderate overlap front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests, in addition to an acceptable or good rating in the newer, more challenging small overlap front test.

This rating puts the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander in rarified company, as only three other SUVs have earned a good or acceptable rating in the tough small overlap crash test—the 2014 Subaru Forester, the 2013 Volvo XC60, and another Mitsubishi crossover, the smaller 2013 Outlander Sport. Of these four, the Outlander, XC60, and Forester earned a good rating in the small overlap test and the Outlander Sport received an acceptable rating. In the IIHS's recent tests of small SUVs, eleven other small SUVs, including the 2013 Toyota RAV4, 2013 Honda CR-V, and 2013 Ford Escape, were rated marginal or poor in the small overlap front crash test, meaning that they can only qualify for the standard Top Safety Pick status.

The difficult small overlap front crash test is meant to replicate a situation where the vehicle's front corner hits another vehicle or an obstacle like a tree or utility pole. Only 25 percent of the vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph.

The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander is completely redesigned and starts at $23,820 with destination. Available with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 3.0-liter V-6, the Mitsubishi Outlander is the only small SUV that comes standard with a third-row seat.

Source: Mitsubishi, IIHS