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2015 Nissan Murano, Ford Flex Ace IIHS Small-Overlap Crash Test

Other midsize SUVs struggle in crash test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently tested seven midsize crossovers in its challenging small-overlap test, and found that only two models aced the test with a “Good” rating. The 2015 Nissan Murano and the 2015 Ford Flex scored “good” in the small overlap crash, putting them at the top of the segment.

The IIHS award the Nissan Murano a Top Safety Pick Plus rating, as a result of the Murano receiving “Good” ratings for all categories in the small front overlap crash test, and because its forward collision prevention systems allowed the SUV to nearly avoid a crash during the test altogether, with the auto braking system the car’s speed from 25 mph to 11 mph before impact.

After the small-overlap impact, the passenger’s interior survival space in the Murano was well maintained. There was minimal intrusion into the cabin, and the IIHS said the driver’s legs would not be seriously injured. The dummy’s head hit the front airbag for the recommended period of time, with minimal deflection onto the side airbag.

The Ford Flex also received a Top Safety Pick award for the small front overlap crash test. While the Nissan Murano scored “Good” ratings across the board for every factor of the crash test, the Ford Flex received an “Acceptable” rating overall, with “Good” individual scores for most tests, but an “Acceptable” rating in the restraints and kinematics category, along with a “Marginal” rating in the structure retention category. Because it didn’t have active-safety features that could reduce the severity of a crash, the Flex wasn’t eligible for a TSP+ award.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited fared well overall in the small front overlap test, but not highly enough to get a Top Safety Pick nod. The Wrangler Unlimited received “Good” ratings in most categories, but only “Acceptable” in the restraints and kinematics category, as well as the lower leg and foot category, which resulted in a “Good” overall rating for the 2015 Jeep Wrangler.

The rest of the test participants were less than stellar. The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Cherokee, and Dodge Durango received “Marginal” overall ratings, primarily as a result of poor structure strength across the board.

The worst-rated midsize SUV in the small front overlap category is the Dodge Journey, which scored an eye-opening “Poor” overall rating. The Journey only received “Good” ratings in the head and neck, and chest categories, with the remainder rated as “Marginal” or “Poor”.

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