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IIHS Awards Top Safety Pick Plus to 2017 Kia Sportage

As safe as you can get.

The 2017 Kia Sportage received the Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a significant improvement over the previous generation's performance in the crash test. The IIHS safety rating is based on a set of five scores awarded to the car for various aspects of the crash test results.

The previous generation of Sportage scored a "Poor" rating from IIHS testing in the infamous small-overlap crash test. Crash tests of the older Kia Sportage saw the driver's space "seriously compromised," with the brake pedal pushed inward a whopping 16 inches. The steering column shifted toward the driver by four inches and to the side six inches. This resulted in the dummy's head sliding off the front airbag. In addition, the side curtain airbag failed to deploy.

The 2017 Kia Sportage is a big improvement. In the small front overlap test, the brake pedal did not exceed the maximum allowed intrusion of six inches, and three inches of intrusion elsewhere in the car. According to IIHS, the dummy's movement was "well-controlled."

To receive the vaunted "Plus" tacked on the end of the safety rating, the vehicles must feature effective crash prevention and mitigation systems. The new Sportage avoided a collision at both 12 mph and 25 mph, earning the Top Safety Pick Plus rating, though its pre-collision braking technologies are only available as an option on EX trim levels and as standard on the SX Turbo.