2013 Toyota RAV4

Even with extra time to prepare, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 didn't do well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap frontal crash test. In a press release, the IIHS says they initially delayed crash testing the RAV4 to allow Toyota to enhance the vehicle’s safety structure.

According to the IIHS, the changes made were not sufficient, and the RAV4 earned a score of Poor in the new safety test. The agency reports that “the driver's space was seriously compromised by intruding structure, and the dummy's left foot was trapped by crushed and buckled sheet metal in the footwell.” Additionally, “the dummy's head barely contacted the frontal airbag before sliding off the left side as the steering column moved more than 7 inches to the right, resulting in little airbag cushioning for the chest.” Finally, the agency reports that excessive movement allowed by the safety belt resulted in the dummy’s head hitting the dashboard.

The small overlap frontal crash test is IIHS’ newest safety test. It is designed to evaluate a vehicle’s ability to protect its occupants in a collision where the front corner of the vehicle hits an object like a pole or another car.


Failure to earn a score of Good in the small overlap frontal crash test means the 2013 RAV4 does not earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus status. Still, the RAV4 is designated a Top Safety Pick for its scores of Good in all of the other IIHS safety tests.

The New York Times corresponded with Toyota via email, and they report that the automaker says it is “looking at a range of solutions to achieve greater crash performance in this area.”

The only two compact SUVs that have been earned the Top Safety Pick Plus designation so far are the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester.

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