2016 Lexus RX Named Top Safety Pick+
New SUV Aces Small Overlap
Lexus’ segment-defining RX crossover received an accolade this week in the form of a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). After acing all of the organization’s crash tests, the RX’s available collision prevention technology put it over the top, earning the highest safety rating available from the IIHS.
The most difficult spate of testing the vehicle went through could well be the small overlap offset test. Invented by the IIHS in 2012, the small-offset test is designed to simulate a 40-mph crash into a fixed object, like a telephone pole or tree. With a huge amount of energy concentrated on merely a quarter of the vehicle’s frontal area, the test taxes even the safest cars.
However, the Lexus RX aced it, with dummy measures indicating a low risk of injuries to the head, neck, chest, hip, leg, and foot. The driver’s survival space was maintained well, with only about 4 inches of intrusion in the footwell. Side curtain and steering wheel airbags stayed inflated long enough to protect the dummy on any initial impact and rebound, and the steering column’s strength allowed it to remain in front of the dummy, where the airbag is most effective.
The crossover’s optional Lexus Safety System+ also helped prevent a crash in the institute’s 12-mph and 25-mph autobrake testing, earning the RX a total of six points for front crash prevention. That was enough to earn a “Superior” rating in that category. The IIHS requires an “Advanced” or a “Superior” rating to be a Top Safety Pick+, as well as good ratings on all the organization’s crash tests.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety