How Do You Interpret Crash Test Ratings? - 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Long-Term Road Test Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited October 2014 in Toyota
imageHow Do You Interpret Crash Test Ratings? - 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Long-Term Road Test

The NHTSA crash test ratings are in for the 2015 Toyota highlander. It earned the same score as our long-term 2014 Highlander.

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  • sanasavsanasav Member Posts: 2
    The 2015 Kia Highlander is already for sale?
  • wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97
    These ratings test a very specific safety conditions and can't cover everything that might happen in the real world. A perfect 5 isn't necessary for me. A 4 is acceptable. Perhaps even one 3 might be ok, depending.

    But for Volvo shoppers, I think they are looking for the best safety money can buy. So a 5 is probably essential for them.
  • chol92594chol92594 Member Posts: 208
    I think it depends on the exact tests performed. I know a lot of cars that were taken off the list for best safety picks once they failed the small overlap test, even though they had done well in years prior before that test became more widely-used. Some people might misinterpret that by thinking that the car suddenly became less safe for that model year, even though it just went through more difficult testing.

    The usefulness and relevance of crash tests somewhat depends on the time that the tests were done. Cars from 5-10 years ago that were named top safety picks may not do as well in modern crash tests. That doesn't necessarily mean that they're unsafe cars. They're just being subjected to more rigorous and comprehensive testing. Nowadays, I think 4 or 5 stars is really the only acceptable rating for most people. 3 or less is just not good enough.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    edited October 2014
    What often gets overlooked is the results from a car the size of the Highlander's can't be directly compared to the results from a car the size of a Yaris as many of the tests are affected by the vehicle weight. A light car will appear to do better because it will have less momentum but that only works if you hit a stationary object. In the real world where cars tend to collide with other cars the results can be much different as the larger heavier car will transfer much more energy to the small car.
    I think a lot of people end up with a smaller car with a high rating thinking they are as safe or safer than the larger car.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    @zimtheinvader That said have you seen the video of newer small cars using older bigger cars as crumple zones in crash tests?

    You buy the safest car of the size you need.

    Personally, the ratings do matter especially for a family hauler like the Highlander. And the small overlap matters as well. It does after all accounts for 25% of fatal crashes.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    It's probably the same type of math as Edmunds uses in its A-B-C-D-F ratings, where three Bs and one A often average out to an A.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Member Posts: 184

    It's probably the same type of math as Edmunds uses in its A-B-C-D-F ratings, where three Bs and one A often average out to an A.

    Now THAT is really funny! But, back to the topic--a 4 is fine with me. Actually, I pay little attention to crash ratings unless the vehicle does miserably--I avoid those.

  • redwoodaggieredwoodaggie Member Posts: 4
    Yes, it mattered when we picked our 2015 Highlander, but the Top Safety Pick+ and off-set crash being acceptable were key things for me and keeping my family safe. Other models like the CX-9 got cut, just because I would not be able to walk if I got into an offset crash.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited March 2015
    I wouldn't get too confident about safety ratings either---yes, indeed, they matter in the sense of being relative--one car to another--but in reality, there is no such thing as a "safe car". Some are just less dangerous than others, but none is "safe" because the dynamics of car collisions are so complex that one can never predict how it will turn out for the passengers. You could have the same exact car in two separate accidents with completely different results in each case.

    I think safety ratings can give some consumers a false sense of security, and may, perversely, even increase risk-taking.
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