The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave four 2008 and 2009 small SUVs top scores in crash tests. According to the IIHS the 2009 Ford Escape, 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander and the 2008 Nissan Rouge all received top scores in front, side and rear tests.
IIHS also said that all four SUVs were equipped with standard electronic stability control which prevents against rollovers. The 2008 Jeep Wrangler received the lowest score of poor in side tests due to the lack of side air bags. IIHS also said that during the tests the driver door opened during the crash.
The ratings for the Ford Escape also apply for the Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute as well as hybrid versions of the Escape and Mariner.
The 2008 Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent both received top scores in front end test and the second-lowest rating in side tests. The 2009 models of each SUV will have side-impact air bags as standard.