Chevy Malibu Gets ‘Poor’ Rating In Latest IIHS Side Crash Test15
The Chevy Malibu received an overall rating of ‘Poor’ in a recent side-impact crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, losing out to key rivals like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.
The IIHS evaluated seven different midsize vehicles using its updated side crash test, including the 2022 Subaru Outback crossover and a variety of midsize sedans including the 2022 model-year VW Jetta, Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Chevy Malibu. Only the Outback achieved the best-possible rating of ‘Good’, with the vehicle’s higher intrusion levels helping to protect passengers in T-bone-style side-impact crashes.
The Sonata and Jetta received an overall rating of ‘Average’, while the Accord received a rating of ‘Marginal’ and the Camry, Altima and Malibu were all deemed ‘Poor’. Of the three lowest-rated vehicles, the Malibu performed the worst, receiving the worst-possible rating for structure and safety cage integrity and its ability to prevent head and neck injury. The Altima had a similarly poor performance, but managed to protect rear-seat passengers more effectively and was thus rated one position above the Malibu.
The IIHS had this to say about the Camry, Altima and Malibu’s side-impact crash test performance:
“The Altima and Malibu showed substantial intrusion into the occupant compartment, but the safety cage of the Camry held up well. Injury measures indicated a high risk of torso and pelvis injuries for the driver in the Altima, a moderate risk of torso and pelvis injuries for the driver and high risk of pelvis injuries for the rear passenger in the Camry, and a high risk of head or neck injuries for the driver in the Malibu. In all three vehicles, the heads of either the driver or rear passenger dummy or both slipped below the side-curtain airbag to contact the windowsill.”
The IIHS updated its side-impact crash test last year to better reflect the higher-riding and heavier crossovers and SUVs of the current day. The new test includes a heavier 4,180-pound barrier to mimic the weight of a modern-day mid-size crossover, which travels at a higher speed of 37 mph compared to the previous test speed of 31 mph. The IIHS says these changes result in a crash that generates 82 percent more energy. The honeycomb-pattern striking surface of the new barrier also has a different design that acts more like today’s SUVs or pickups when striking the side of another vehicle.
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Does this test align with what pertains with real world side crashes of the mostly midsized SUVS out there with the Malibu?
This is an ongoing game with the IIHS……develop a test to scare people…..cars get thicker and heavier….and they’ll develop another test…..next they’ll drop a loaded conex container from a crane on the roof and say it doesn’t pass that. They won’t stop until every car is an APC, then they’ll complain that it gets bad MPG and its hard to see out of……
IIHS is just a Ralph Nader front group. Anti-car.
If nobody has cars, then how are insurance companies going to sell car insurance?
How are you going to jack up rates if you can’t rate every car as “poor” in your ridiculous tests?
Why not slam it with a 6,000lb sled at 65mph?
There still are a few places to see out of in cars, we need to remedy that….
Those American Racing wheels on the sled though are SHARP……
ya, I noticed that as well… If you are going to destroy cars, you might as well look good doing it!
To help alleviate this t-bone situation. I propose putting the 2.7 310/430 hp engine in the Malibu to get out of its own way.
T-bone crashes have always been especially dangerous which is why red light runners should be jailed.
Whether you agree with the test or not – it is well known in the industry and it will affect the image of the product and influence purchases. Other vehicles are being designed to perform much better than the Malibu so it can’t be said that the requirement is unrealistic to achieve. I would hate to be the chief engineer on this program today.
Or the Altimas or the Camrys….
How is the Altima rated higher with 4 POOR markings vs the Malibus 3 POOR marks?
How is this test “well known in the industry” when they just changed the standards last year?
Again, why not increase the weight of the sled to a loaded Freightliner and set the speed to 70mph?
Instead of creating a race to build increasingly larger-heavier SUVs, why not mandate much more strict weight and size LIMITS for ALL non-commercial vehicles as part of the safety plan? That would force manufactures to design for safety and fuel economy, rather than pretending they do, while still building tanks.
Wait till an EV Hummer t-bones a mid-sized sedan! 9000# vs 3000#. Headlines!
At least it will be green……
Just shows it will force all makers to drop sedans and all vehicles will need collision avoidance brake systems to slow down from 37mph to 31mph.
Well, if this doesn’t provide the best excuse yet for gm to discontinue the Malibu and all other cars and concentrate future efforts on 9,000+ monstrosities that’ll probably roll away from the test in better shape than IIHS’s sled following a 37mph side impact.