Audi Q3 gets only an acceptable rating in new, tougher IIHS side crash test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rolled out a tougher side crash test as a response to a worrying problem generated by crashes at high speeds that continue to cause deaths on the roads. Of the 20 small crossovers tested by the IIHS, only one received a good rating, and it wasn’t the Audi Q3.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 got the only good rating of them all, with nine other models having to settle with an acceptable rating. The Audi Q3 is on that list, together with the Volvo XC40, Toyota Venza, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Trax, Subaru Forester, and the Buick Encore.

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It could have been worse for Ingolstadt’s compact luxury crossover as the remaining eight vehicles from this segment tested by IIHS went home with a marginal rating. These are the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, GMC Terrain, Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, and the Lincoln Corsair.

The worst performers were the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and the Honda HR-V, which got a poor rating.

What has changed with the second generation of the side crash test? The barrier used to slam into the cars now weighs 4,180 pounds (1,896 kilograms) instead of 3,300 lbs (1,497 kg) and it now travels at 37 mph (59.5 km/h) rather than 31 mph (50 km/h). By making these two tweaks, IIHS says the side crash test now involves 82% more energy. Not only that, but they also modified the honeycomb striking surface of the barrier to give it a different design that better mimics an SUV.

As with all the other 19 small SUVs, the Audi Q3 received a good rating in the initial version of the side crash test. In all the other tests, the German premium crossover scores a good rating, with the only exception being the headlights as its rating depends on the vehicle’s trim and level of equipment. The base model gets a poor rating whereas the expensive ones with the more sophisticated headlights qualify for a good rating.

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Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.