The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Escape a Top Safety Pick because it earned ratings of Good (the highest) in all four tests conducted by IIHS — front and side impacts, rear-end crash protection and roof strength in rollovers.
The front impact test was the “moderate overlap” test in which 40 percent of the front of a vehicle strikes a barrier in a 40-mph crash. IIHS recently announced a new, more difficult “small overlap” crash in which 25 percent of a vehicle’s front strikes a barrier, simulating a vehicle hitting an object such as a tree or utility pole. IIHS has not tested the 2013 Escape for the small overlap crash.
The tests conducted by IIHS are widely considered to be more stringent than those performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, yet the 2013 Escape received a four-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five) in NHTSA’s tests. NHTSA gave the Escape five stars (the highest) for side-impact protection, but four stars for front crashes and rollover resistance.
We caution that vehicles that perform well in such crash tests don’t always perform as well in the real world. That is because the tests simulate specific crashes that may not be the same as those experienced on the road, and smaller vehicles such as the Escape may suffer more damage in a collision with a larger vehicle, such as a pickup or full-size SUV. Meaningful real-world data on injuries and deaths typically takes three years or more to compile, so it remains to be seen how the Escape’s safety performance will play out.
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