2016 Toyota Highlander Gets Top Safety Rating From IIHS
By Matt Schmitz
February 23, 2016
2016 Toyota Highlander
CARS.COM - The Toyota Highlander retains its top crashworthiness honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for 2016, improving its performance in the stringent small overlap front crash test. The 2016 Highlander earned the top rating of good on the test, up from the previous model's acceptable rating.
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"Last year's model was also a Top Safety Pick Plus, but the criteria for the award were tightened for 2016," IIHS said in a statement. "Previously, an acceptable rating for small overlap protection was enough, but now a good rating is required."
IIHS said structural modifications to the SUV improved its performance, with the crash dummy's movement better controlled than in 2015. Also, the dummy's head struck the properly positioned front airbag without sliding off the side, as previously happened.
The 2016 Highlander again earned good ratings in each of the other four evaluations: moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint. The Highlander also earned an advanced rating for its optional front crash prevention system; an advanced or superior rating is required for the Plus designation.
Competitors' ratings are a mixed bag. Both the 2016 Ford Explorer and the 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe failed to get a Top Safety Pick or Plus designation as both received marginal scores in the small front overlap test. The Santa Fe is refreshed for 2017, but that model has not yet been tested. The 2016 Honda Pilot, on the other hand, also earned a Top Safety Pick Plus award, and did the Highlander one better by earning the highest rating of superior for its front crash prevention system.
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