Midsize SUVs Dominate Roads: Should Safety Concerns Scare Consumers?

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New report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on SUV safety raises issues.

Car buyers flock to new midsize SUVs, also known as crossovers, with the latest safety features, from blind spot monitors to automatic braking. But one safety feature may be the most important – how well the vehicle performs in a crash.

The latest results are discouraging. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just released its findings on the newest midsize SUVs and four of the seven did not get good ratings.

The IIHS ratings were for a small overlap front crash test, which is an accident where an SUV hits another vehicle or stationary object.

A bright spot

The Nissan Murano received a good rating and the highest award, Top Safety Pick +. The Ford Flex, with an acceptable rating, got top safety pick.

But the Jeep Wrangler, which did well in the small overlap rating, was found to have marginal protection in side and rear crash. The Dodge Journey, made by Fiat Chrysler, got a poor rating, and the Dodge Durango and Jeep Cherokee, also by Fiat Chrysler, received marginal ratings. The Hyundai Santa Fe was rated marginal as well. All cars meet the  National Highway Transportation Safety Administration  standards, which measures overall crashworthiness, but the IIHS’s tests break down the types of crashes to measure for specific types of crashes.

Judy Antell, who is TravelingMom.com's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell