Nissan, Jeep earn top marks in IIHS test

The Nissan Murano received the coveted “top safety” honor – the second this year for Nissan – during the most recent round of small-overlap front crash testing hosted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), while the Jeep Wrangler (4-door) and the Ford Flex also received higher marks during their testing sessions as well.

vehicle safetyRatings are given in several categories that fall under four grades – good (green), acceptable (blue), marginal (yellow) and poor (red).

According to a report from Automotive News, the Murano scored “good” in all of the categories for the overall green grade – structure, restraints and kinematics and all dummy injury measures (head and neck, chest, hip and thigh and the lower leg and feet). Added with other IIHS measures, the Murano has earned a “Top Rating Pick+” rating, which is the highest the institute awards.

The Jeep Wrangler finished second overall with “good” for all categories except for restraints and kinematics – this includes the effectiveness of seatbelts for the driver and passengers – where they received an “acceptable” rating. But because of other substandard test results, the Wrangler did not receive the “top safety” honors that the Murano received, which requires “good” or “acceptable” ratings in all five crash-test scenarios through the IIHS.

The Ford Flex also received green for all dummy injury measures while receiving a blue mark for restraints and kinematics and a yellow for structure that gave the Ford an overall “acceptable” grade that were good enough to yield a Top Safety Pick, but without the “plus” designation that the Murano earned.

Four cars were unable to earn acceptable ratings, including the Dodge Journey that receives the lone overall red mark with poorly rated structure and only marginal marks for restraints and injury measures for hip and thigh and the lower legs and feet – at least your head, neck and chest will be fine though in this vehicle.

The Murano and Flex join a short list of midsize sports utility vehicles (SUVs) that have qualified for the “top safety” rating certified by the IIHS. The other include the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.