We’ve all heard of Euro NCAP and the sterling work they do in improving automotive safety through crash testing. You’d even be forgiven for thinking most new cars are incredibly safe nowadays, considering the majority of them achieve five stars or higher in the ratings.
But the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US, or IIHS, also conducts crash safety evaluations; except there’s come with a small twist. And by small ‘twist’, we mean small ‘overlap’.
Essentially, the IIHS is changing the crash test criterion for the latest batch of half a dozen ‘small cars’ (yes, they consider the featured cars as small cars in the US) and they’ve made the front overlap collision zone smaller, allowing for the chance of greater intrusion into passenger safety cell.
As a result, the outcome of small overlap frontal crashes for the Mazda5, Fiat 500L, Nissan Leaf and Mini Cooper Countryman couldn’t be more different.
Watch the IIHS video here, taking note of the slim overlap zone: