- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2002

(Agence France-Presse) Three out of four small sport utility vehicles (SUV) earned top marks in crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported Tuesday.
The 2002 Honda CR-V, 2003 Subaru Forester and 2002 Saturn VUE earned "good" ratings in 40-mph frontal offset crash tests, while the CR-V and Forester also earned "best pick" designations.
The results are "further proof that manufacturers are working to improve the performances of their new designs in offset tests," the group's president, Brian O'Neill, said in a statement.
"This will mean improved protection for people in serious real-world crashes."
Only the 2002 Land Rover Freelander lagged behind, with an "acceptable" rating. The model, an older design only recently introduced to the U.S. market, was handicapped by its poor dummy-control movement.
The institute's tests evaluate how much protection a vehicle's structure and restraints afford a driver in the event of an offset impact to the driver's side.
In previous tests, only one small SUV Hyundai's Santa Fe (2002 model and some 2001 model vehicles) was rated "good."
Five others were rated "acceptable": the 2001 and 2002 Toyota RAV-4, the 1999 through 2002 Suzuki Vitara and Grand Vitara, the Chevrolet Tracker and the 1997 through 2002 Jeep Wrangler.
The Kia Sportage (1998 to 2002 model years), and Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute (2001 and 2002) brought up the rear with "marginal" ratings.


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