Is Honda’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Fiat’s?

Honda's CR-V received a slightly higher safety rating than the Fiat 500X from the IIHS. Safety features can lower auto insurance costs by up to 8%.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Sports Utility Vehicles are a combination of economy cars’ efficiency, large cars’ durability, and tremendous power
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a company that tests vehicles for proper safety in their company’s facility in Virginia
  • Honda CR-V is one of the latest models that this Japanese creator added to their small SUV inventory
  • Fiat is not a manufacturer that has been very dominant in the market, but it still produces some prominent vehicles such as the 500X model

Large car manufacturers such as Honda and Fiat realize the importance of branching out their offering. This understanding is why Honda shifted from powerful motorcycles and Fiat switched from tiny, economy cars to Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

SUVs account for the majority of the cars in the United States. The growth of the middle-class families has paved the way for this vehicle type to take over the market. A lot of brands try their best to produce a powerful SUV that will be wanted by the market.

Sometimes, the competition between manufacturers will drive innovation, and other times it can cause a lapse in attention that gives birth to faulty safety features.

This risk is why it is important that there are companies such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as these play a role in the checks-and-balances procedures between the producers and buyers.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for the car insurance coverage you need. Use our free rate tool above to get started.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Ratings

The way that the Institute or the IIHS helps buyers is by adding value to the cars being sold. They will only give high ratings to those vehicles that showcase their abilities in real-world tests, often involving hardcore collisions and hits.

For example, the crashworthiness is assessed through a frontal collision that can be small or moderate, side-impact, and roof hits and pressure tests.

These trials will test the cabin intrusion, airbag efficiency, risk of injuries, and so on. Low risk and positive performance will give grades such as good or acceptable, whereas a weak performance will yield a marginal or poor rating.

Similarly, crash prevention is broken down into three separate tests:

  • Forward Collision Warning Assessment (one point)
  • 12-mph Test (two points)
  • 25-mph Test (three points)

The six-point scale is converted into actual ratings that can be basic, advanced, or superior

Lastly, the child seat anchors have the same rating scale as crashworthiness. To derive a proper evaluation for this area, however, the specialists will look at the LATCH and review them based on a simple observation.

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Honda CR-V Versus Fiat 500X

A comparison between some of the best small SUVs on the market will feature a top-scale Honda CR-V model that will verse Fiat’s creation, the 500X model.


Recently, the Institute added a second small overlap collision test that reviews the impacts on the passenger side. Through this test, manufacturers will be held accountable for the injuries of the second dummy placed on the passenger seat.

Unfortunately, since this test was implemented only a few weeks ago, there are not a lot of vehicles that have no rating for it. Fiat and Honda are within the group that is yet to be tested for the passenger small overlap collision.

All the other sub-categories of crashworthiness were rated “good” for both brands. This score means that they scored in a very high percentile and that these manufacturers did a great job with the portion of the safety tested thus far.

An example of the performance is the minimum intrusion to the driver’s survival space, indicating that the risk of injuries was low. Further, the side impact caused the airbags to get deployed immediately.

This deployment prevented the head and neck of the dummy from getting exposed to glass or other objects.

Also, the roof’s ratios were all above four, which is the threshold for a good and powerful roof that will protect one from any falling objects. Thus, both models remain tied.

Crash Prevention and Mitigation

Honda won this category with a six to four score. The area where Fiat lost points was the 25-mph test as the speed reduction was only five miles per hour.

This reduction was not enough to avoid a collision, and even the 12-mph assessment did not result in complete collision avoidance. Thus, Honda took the lead with one category.

Headlights proved the dominance of Honda as Fiat’s rating was poor due to its issues with visibility that was inadequate in all four tests. Honda, however, scored an acceptable rating with only minor issues related to the gradual left curve.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

Fiat confirmed its loss in this category with a marginal score. Honda’s capabilities were rated as acceptable, which was downgraded from good because of other hardware that could be confused for anchors.

Fiat has a lot of area for growth since its latches lacked in all of the following areas:

  • Hard-to-find location
  • Too deep in the seat
  • Difficult to maneuver around

2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

To qualify for the Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must have good ratings for crashworthiness and advanced or superior ratings for crash prevention. The Plus awards require acceptable or good headlight performance on top of these two standards.

Due to this standard, Honda was awarded the Top Safety Pick Plus award while Fiat took the Top Safety Pick recognition.

Before revisiting the reasons why Fiat lost, one should be mindful of insurance implications that accompany a new vehicle purchase.

These implications include the following:

To shop for an insurance policy, one will have to rely on an extensive internet search.

The most important factors that affect the costs of insurance are age, driving history, location, people on the policy, and more. Since various insurance companies rank these differently, quotes provided will generally differ.

Using websites that list all of these companies in a neat manner will be the most useful technique for sorting and choosing. Our comparison tool below will let you compare rates side-by-side for free! Enter your zip code to begin.

Lastly, the winner of the comparison was Honda as it had better crash prevention score, headlights that overpowered the poor performance of the 500X model, and child latches that were better than those in Fiat.

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