May 12, 2015 / 5:18 AM / 4 years ago

Most midsize SUVs fail tough U.S. crash test

The 2015 Nissan Murano crossover vehicle is seen in its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - Most midsize SUVs being crash-tested by a U.S. safety group fared poorly, with the worst performer being the Dodge Journey, which sustained severe structural damages.

Of the seven models tested, Nissan Motor Co Ltd’s Murano and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s (FCA) four-door Jeep Wrangler were the only vehicles to earn a “good” rating, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The SUVs underwent the small overlap front crash test, which is tougher than the head-on crash tests used by the U.S. government, according to automakers and IIHS.

Small overlap crashes, involving only the small front corner of a vehicle, affect the less protected outer edges of the car. In such crashes, the front wheel, suspension system and firewall bear the brunt, which can lead to serious leg and foot injuries.

Ford Motor Co’s Flex was rated “acceptable”, while the rest received “marginal” or “poor” ratings, according to the IIHS, a U.S. nonprofit funded by auto insurers.

Hyundai Motor Co’s Santa Fe, FCA’s Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Durango were rated “marginal”.

In January, subcompact cars including the Fiat 500 and Honda Fit performed the worst of any vehicle segment in the test. (

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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