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

Both Honda and Mitsubishi small SUVs received the IIHS's top safety top safety pick+ award. The rate of auto insurance is around 18% more for many SUV models.

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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: Nov 8, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Honda and Mitsubishi have similar safety ratings
  • Both Honda and Mitsubishi have small SUVs with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+ awards
  • Mitsubishi has a more impressive and easier to use child safety LATCH

Small SUVs are some of the most sought-after on the market. They’re more sizable than a sedan, but not nearly as big as a large SUV. Being able to put down the rear seats to make more space allows those who enjoy sports to carry their equipment.

If you’re remodeling your home, you can fit your home improvement store purchases in the back, and you’re always free to fill it with luggage and take the kids on a weekend adventure. Small SUVs are versatile.

The small SUV market is a big one, and many people enjoy all it has to offer, but what is it you find most important in this market? Is it the safety features your small SUV is equipped with, or do you prefer driving something with more power or a sleeker exterior design?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes it possible for you to drive a vehicle that has it all, and that’s why you should check their safety ratings for the Honda and Mitsubishi models in the small SUV category.

Choosing the car with the best safety ratings can translate to a more affordable insurance premium. See how much you could save on premiums with these safe SUVs. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool above to begin.

How does the IIHS determine which vehicles are the safest?

The IIHS takes all the vehicles from the current model year and crashes them.

It’s not why most people buy their cars, but the IIHS wants to figure out which small SUVs are the safest, the most resilient, and which has the best performance in the event of an accident.

All the small SUVs on the market are tested for crashworthiness, crash avoidance, and mitigation, and the child seat anchors are tested.

Each is then given a letter grade.

  • “G” for good
  • “A” for acceptable
  • “M” for marginal
  • “P” for poor

Honda and Mitsubishi each have two small SUVs on the market, but only one by each manufacturer gets the best possible safety rating from the IIHS.


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Honda’s Safety Ratings in 2018

The Honda CR-V is the first small SUV in the Honda family, and it’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award-winning vehicle. This award means it’s been given the best rating possible in the small SUV category.

With a superior front crash prevention rating, this Honda has “G” ratings in every subcategory within the crashworthiness category and “A” ratings in the child latch and headlight categories.

The Honda HR-V is the other small SUV in the Honda family, and it did not make it onto the list of top safety pick winners. In fact, its ratings are nowhere near as good as its sister Honda.

This model has an “A” rating in the small overlap front category, “G” ratings in all the other crashworthiness subcategories, and much less favorable ratings elsewhere.

This model was given a marginal rating in the child LATCH category. This doesn’t indicate it’s not safe, it merely indicates the latch is not easy to use.

This rating shows it could allow more room for user error, which is always dangerous. The headlights received a “P” rating, which is the worst possible rating given.

Mitsubishi’s Safety Ratings in 2018


The Mitsubishi Outlander is the first of two Mitsubishi models in the 2018 lineup, and it’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ recipient.

It’s the highest rating possible, and this vehicle mirrors the ratings of the Honda CR-V with a superior front-end crash prevention rating as well as “G” ratings in all the crashworthiness subcategories. Headlights and latch system both received an “A” rating.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is the other model in the small SUV category, and its ratings are not impressive enough to have awarded it any IIHS safety picks.

The small front overlap received an “A” rating, but it also received “G” ratings across the board in the rest of the crashworthiness category. It received a “P” rating in the headlights category and an “A” rating in the LATCH category.

Does Honda have better safety ratings that Mitsubishi in the small SUV category?

In short, the answer is no. The Honda CR-V and the Mitsubishi Outlander have identical ratings and awards, which means either one is a great safety pick worthy of serious insurance discounts.

You must ask insurance companies to include your Top Safety Pick+ vehicle rating in the rate quote you’re given. Not all companies automatically issue these discounts unless their customers ask them to do just that.

The winner of the safety ratings comes down to the two less impressive models. The Mitsubishi wins by a small percentage due merely to the fact that it received an “A” rating in the latch category rather than the “M” rating the Honda HR-V received.

Otherwise, they’re identical as far as safety tests are concerned.

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Choosing Your Small SUV


When you have safety ratings so close in comparison, it’s going to come down to which vehicle you like better or which one is more affordable. One Honda and one Mitsubishi are both going to offer less expensive insurance costs, which could help you make your decision.

Depending on where you live, what you do for a living, and a few other personal details, you can even ask insurance companies for additional discounts to further drop the cost of driving either small SUV.

Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below to find the lowest price for the coverage you need for your SUV.

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