This just in… Consumer Reports has updated their mid-sized SUV ratings and the 2014 Highlander sits atop their “recommended” list. Not only that, but CR has rescinded their recommendations for the 2014 Honda Pilot, Kia Sorrento, and Mazda CX-9 due to poor crash test performance.
The test in question was the new “small offset” frontal crash test, which mimics a partial head-on collision. The Highlander got an “acceptable” rating on this test and was ultimately named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. But the other makes/models listed above? Not so much.
According to the IIHS, the driver’s space in the Pilot was “seriously compromised” resulting in “likely” injuries to the driver’s left hip, knee, and lower leg. Moreover, the steering wheel displaced to the driver’s right side resulting in minimal contact with the front air bag, leaving the head vulnerable to impact with the side structure.
Of course, the Pilot is due for a complete re-design in
2015 2016 — similar to the overhaul that the Highlander received in 2014 — and they will presumably engineer it to improve performance on the latest safety tests.