The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has been busy updating many of its crash test criteria in recent months, all with an eye toward addressing certain deficiencies. As a result, many models from essentially every manufacturer have struggled in those updated tests recently, a list that includes the Ford F-150 and the Ford Ranger, though other models – such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Ford Explorer, and the Ford Escape – have still managed to record solid scores. That was also the case with the Lincoln Aviator, as the luxurious crossover managed to earn a rating of “good” from the IIHS on its updated moderate overlap front crash test.
The Lincoln Aviator was one of three mid-size luxury crossovers/SUVs to receive a rating of “good” in this updated test, along with the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and Volvo XC60. However, things didn’t go quite as well for the Acura MDX and BMW X3, which were rated acceptable, the Audi Q5 and Lexus RX with marginal ratings, and the Cadillac XT6, which was rated poor.
IIHS launched its updated moderate overlap front test last year after its research found that in newer vehicles, the risk of a fatal injury is now higher for belted occupants in the second row than for those in front. This has happened because while automakers continue to add improved airbags, seatlbelts, and other safety tech in the front row, that hasn’t been the case with second-row seating. As such, it now places a dummy in the second row behind the driver, and in order to receive a “good” rating, there can’t be an excessive risk of injury to the head, neck, chest or thigh to that passenger.
“It’s encouraging that more than half of the 2024 midsize luxury SUVs we tested performed well in our updated moderate overlap front crash test,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “The three good ratings in this group show that our new, tougher standards are achievable when manufacturers commit to excellence. Though several vehicles in this class performed extremely well, the fact that we saw submarining in half the models we tested shows that many manufacturers still have work to do to improve restraint systems in the second row.”