The three-row crossover class is really heating up, with redesigns from Honda and Kia for 2016. Kia’s new Sorento should be more appealing to families with its new safety rating: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just named it a Top Safety Pick, earning the top score of good across all areas of testing, including the tough small-overlap front crash test.
Related: 2016 Kia Sorento: First Look
The last-generation Sorento failed the small-overlap front test, which mimics when the front corner of the vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object such as a tree or a utility pole. IIHS also said that in the previous model, the side curtain airbags didn’t deploy, causing severe injuries to the crash-test dummy.
In the 2016 Sorento, IIHS reports that the driver’s space was well maintained after the crash and the side curtain airbags did a good job of protecting the dummy’s head. “Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity,” the agency said in a statement.
The Sorento is available with an optional forward collision warning system; this earns it a basic rating for front crash prevention but a basic rating is not high enough for Top Safety Pick Plus status.