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

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Things to remember...

  • Between the Honda CR-V and the Volkswagen Tiguan, there was a clear winner for safest car
  • Drivers can save money on their insurance premiums by choosing a vehicle that is safer and has higher ratings from the IIHS
  • Even though a vehicle may have a lower safety rating from the IIHS, it may just be because there is no data on the vehicle

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is the premier car safety rating organization. They have worked hard for the standards they now set for different companies and organizations around the United States.

It is important for the IIHS to maintain all their safety rating tests so they have a chance to actually help other people with the issues they are facing.

It is also important for them to make the right choices when it comes to how they test their vehicles. The vehicles go through rigorous testing that simulates accidents that could happen in real life.

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Car Safety Ratings Explained

When looking at safety ratings, many drivers notice the vehicles have ratings of G, A, M or P. These ratings mean the following:

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

The IIHS uses sets of numbers taken from each of the tests to determine the letter grade each vehicle will receive during the process of safety rating.

–Importance of the LATCH Test

The IIHS is not able to test whether the LATCH systems work in vehicles because all vehicles should have systems that work the same way.

Since the systems are mandated by the government’s standards, it is necessary for IIHS to rate the systems based on how easy they are to use.

The IIHS knows people who have an easier time using the systems will be more likely to use them the right way.

They also know properly functioning LATCH systems are necessary for people to use so they don’t get confused with some of the issues they would traditionally have with child safety seats.

In the Honda CR-V, the LATCH system received an A rating for its ease of use. The system was mostly easy to use, but there were some issues with hardware that is close to the LATCH system.

Similarly, the Volkswagen Tiguan received an A rating. The system had anchors that were too far deep into the seat to reach comfortably making it more difficult for users to get the seat properly attached.

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–Crash Prevention

Many vehicles are equipped with auto brakes, and the NHSTA requires vehicles to have a warning system if they are close to getting into a front-end collision. Because of this, the IIHS tests the efficacy of these systems.

The CR-V received a superior rating on the system because it accumulated enough points by not getting into a crash when it was close to another vehicle going at different speeds.

While the Tiguan was advertised to have a crash avoidance system, it was not able to be tested. The IIHS did not give it a rating since there was no data to determine it. Both vehicles scored an A for their headlights which also help to avoid crashes.

–The Crash Tests


The IIHS uses a variety of crash tests to help determine whether a vehicle will be safe in the event of a crash.

The Institute tests different types of crashes including a small overlap front crash on both the driver and passenger sides, a moderate overlap front, side, roof and they also test for the restraint safety.

While they are doing this, they put the vehicle in a variety of collisions. The CR-V received a score of G on everything but the passenger side small overlap front test. There was no data for this test.

The same happened for the Tiguan, but it scored an M on the driver’s side of the small overlap front test.

Choosing a Winner

Since a vehicle needs to have only A ratings and G to qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award, the Tiguan did not make it for that category because of the M rating it had on the front overlap test for the driver’s side of the vehicle.

The CR-V did receive a Top Safety Pick+ award and was the safer car between the Tiguan and CR-V.

The CR-V also had higher scores in each category where there was data. In addition, the CR-V had a higher overall score than the Tiguan.

While having an M rating did not help the Tiguan, having data for some of the other things, like the crash prevention test, would have helped to make its score higher.

Reasons to Choose a Safe Car


Small size SUVs can be safer than other cars, and the Honda CR-V is one of the safest small size SUVs. The CR-V scored high and was a Top Safety Pick+.

Reasons you should choose a Top Safety Pick+ include being safer while you are driving, saving money on insurance premiums and having a vehicle that has won an award.

Always keep the safety of the vehicle in mind when you are looking for a new car or even when you are looking for a new insurance provider. A safer car can make a huge difference in your driving experience.

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