Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Crash Test Ratings in the U.S.

It seems that New Crash Test Ratings in the U.S. have gotten a bit steeper this year. And as the top ratings are unveiled, many of us may be surprised at exactly which models are on the list.

Most people, even before the ratings came out, were not overly optimistic about what the new ratings would contain. In recent years, many automakers have found themselves having serious difficulties meeting the qualifications to obtain high scores, and this year is no exception.

This year, the new rating system features new requirements, new tests, and new dummies for these tests. Vehicles are now given an overall score, combining the results of all the completed tests and calculating the risks. Since the ratings have become so stiff, many of the fifty-five vehicles being tested are expected to land low.

A new website allows for actual video clips of the rear, front, and side crash tests to be viewed. This will give those who are interested a real inside look at the effectiveness of each model. These videos will also demonstrate the importance of features cars now boast, such as forward collision warning, electronic stability control, and lane departure alert systems. In fact, most of these features are required in the newer models coming out.

Only two of all the tested models came out with a five star score, the Hyundai Sonata and the BMW 5-Series. Most of the vehicles landed much lower than expected, disappointing both consumers and manufacturers. The Subaru, which has been fairly consistently at the top of the list, fell short of the mark this year with its Legacy model. Additionally, the Nissan Versa, the Toyota Sienna, and the Toyota Camry also scored quite low.

Also among the top ratings were: the new Ford Fiesta, the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, and the Chevrolet Tahoe received great ratings.

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