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Cadillac XT5, Subaru Outback nab top rating in rear-crash program

Cadillac XT5, Subaru Outback nab top rating in rear-crash program

The Cadillac XT5 and Subaru Outback fared the best in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new rear-crash prevention rating system.
Anisa Jibrell
Automotive News | February 22, 2018 – 2:50 pm EST

The Cadillac XT5 and Subaru Outback fared the best in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new rear-crash prevention rating system, which pinpoints models that can prevent or reduce low-speed backing crashes.

IIHS assessed rear auto-brake systems on six 2017 model vehicles: the BMW 5-series sedan, Cadillac XT5 crossover, Infiniti QX60 crossover, Jeep Cherokee SUV, Subaru Outback wagon and Toyota Prius hatchback, the organization said in a release.

“The six cars that we’ve published ratings for are the most popular model for each of the six automakers that are currently offering rear autobrake technology,” IIHS chief research officer David Zuby told Automotive News. “At the time we set this up, it was only Cadillac, Subaru, BMW, Infiniti, Jeep and Toyota who sold anything with rear AEB, and we just chose the most popular model from each of those makes.”

The three-tier rating system evaluates models with optional or standard rear crash prevention systems including, parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and rear automatic braking systems, and gives vehicles a “superior,” “advanced” or “basic” rating.

With all three of the features, the XT5 and Outback garnered a superior rating, while the Cherokee, 5 series, QX60 and Prius earned an advanced rating.

IIHS engineers carried out eight individual scenarios for each model — six of which involve backing toward the rear of another car, said Zuby. Two scenarios for backing up while turning to the right, two for reversing and turning to the left, and two for reversing back in a straight line.

“The reason there are six instead of three is that we’ve got two different orientations for the car that you’re backing toward,” said Zuby.

The seventh scenario involves backing into a parking space toward the side one of the adjacent cars as if the vehicle is misaligned, said Zuby, and the eighth scenario involves backing into a pole. Each scenario includes three trial runs.

To nab a superior rating, a vehicle must have a rear auto-brake system that can prevent a crash at 4 mph or barely hit the target and reduce speed to 1 mph. Under the six point system, vehicle models must gain 4.5 points or more to earn a superior rating, and more than half a point to earn an advanced rating.

To highlight repair costs associated with rear crashes, the nonprofit organization carried out 4 tests with and without the auto-brake. Some of the scenarios included an XT5 reversing into a pole and an Outback backing into a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze. The vehicles did not hit anything with the auto-brake.

The damages to the XT5 after backing into the pole amounted to $3,477 in repairs, and when the Outback reversed into the Cruze’s rear bumper, damages amounted to $1,159 for the Outback and $740 for the Cruze.

New research from IIHS indicates that utilizing the rear-view mirror, parking sensors and rear auto-brake in unison minimizes rear crashes reported to the police by 78 percent, IIHS said in a statement.

“We do plan to expand the ratings to cover more makes and models,” said Zuby. “But for the initial set of ratings we’re just showing among these six.”

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