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The Five Most Viewed IIHS Crash Tests of 2022

Tesla Model Y | Photo: IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
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Daniel Rufiange
The 2022 Subaru BRZ made the list despite its small size - but other tests were viewed even more

•    The IIHS put together a video featuring the five most-viewed crash tests of 2022.

•    The Jeep Wrangler test includes the rare sight of a vehicle rolling over in a frontal crash test.

•    On the other extreme, the 2022 Subaru BRZ tests impressively for a small car.

If today's vehicles are so safe, it's thanks in part to organizations around the world that conduct crash tests. Those widely publicized tests are powerful motivators to force manufacturers to develop vehicles that are better-built and safer. 

In the United States, the best-known entity in the domain is the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). This organization has been conducting tests since 1959 and has an impressive expertise in the field. 

What is doubly interesting in the modern era is that the data collected by this group is available online. Even more effective are the videos of the crash tests it carries out, available for all to see on their website and on YouTube.

The five most viewed IIHS crash tests of 2022 have just been compiled into a single video by the agency. The five vehicles involved vary in size and format as well as in the results the gave during the crash tests. Some of those results were surprisingly impressive, some were downright disconcerting. 

The fifth most-watched video starred the 2022 Jeep Wrangler. It's easy to see why it made this list when you see the video. The big SUV flips over during the small overlap impact crash test. Not surprisingly, the vehicle received the marginal score for this test. The vehicle's high centre of gravity is its enemy in a collision, that's a given. What's interesting is that you can compare its results to the 2022 Ford Bronco, featured in the fourth most-viewed test in 2022 on the IIHS website. 

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2022 Ford Bronco
2022 Ford Bronco | Photo: IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

That SUV also has a high centre of gravity, but we can see that it does better in the same test. It may be off to the side, but there is no rollover in its case. In the front view, it is interesting to see how the parts detach from the vehicle to absorb the energy. 

2022 Subaru BRZ
2022 Subaru BRZ | Photo: IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

Next is the 2022 Subaru BRZ, definitely the most impressive performer of the five models featured in this Best Of. Usually, small cars are a little more at risk of having their cabin impacted during an collision. But here, the cabin remains largely intact as the deformation zones do their job beautifully to absorb the blow. The low weight of the car causes it to be thrown sideways, but what’s important is that the occupants are safer in the event of a collision involving this car. 

The second most viewed test comes out of left field, as it stars the 2013 Chevrolet Spark. No doubt, algorithms played a role in this being an older model that was featured. However, many surely shared the link, because we can see that the car takes quite a beating during the impact and that the cabin does not remain immaculate. Note that the car had a good grade at the time; 10 years on, it doesn’t hold up to the standards of a newer model. 

2022 Tesla Model Y
2022 Tesla Model Y | Photo: IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

Finally, we find the 2022 Tesla Model Y at the top of the list. What is interesting about its performance is that it completely deviates from its trajectory after impact, which minimizes the impact for the occupants. The weight of the batteries and the weight distribution of this vehicle played a role in its unique response. 

If you're in the market for a vehicle, keep in mind that you can probably find the results of the battery of crash tests it has been subjected to, if not actual videos of the tests. Before making a choice, it can be very interesting to see what you're getting into, literally.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists