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

When comparing small SUVs and safety, Mitsubishi does better than Audi in recent safety ratings. Safety features can lower auto insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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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...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Apr 22, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Mitsubishi safety ratings typically good or higher
  • Audi Safety ratings competitive on mid-sized Q5, but not Q3
  • Comprehensive and Collision Insurance (“Full Coverage”) Lower on Mitsubishi Vehicles
  • A large difference between Mitsubishi Outlander and Outlander Sport models, both for awards and ratings

Sometimes how an insurance company rates a vehicle can seem like wizardry. It is essential to make sure you’re shopping around whenever you buy a new car.

There are a lot of calculations that go into underwriting a policy, but one of the most significant is vehicle safety rating. Some primary underwriting sources are available to the public, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The IIHS runs comprehensive crash tests for vehicles by make and model and compares results in accident prevention and harm reduction categories.

This information will influence insurance rates relating to “no-fault” personal injury insurance like Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments (MedPay). In no-fault states like Florida, this information can have a significant impact on your overall rates.

Compare car insurance quotes right here by entering your zip code into our free rate tool above. You might be surprised by how much you could save.

IIHS Ratings

The IIHS rates vehicles in eight statistics:

  • Small Overlap Front – refers to simulations of accidents that strike a wheelbase
  • Moderate Overlap Front – estimates a strike to the center front
  • Side – simulate a blow to the side
  • Roof Strength – tests the amount of force required to depress the roof by five inches
  • Head Restraints and Seats – measures harm prevention of the vehicle’s seating in a collision
  • Front Crash Prevention – composite score of various safety features on newer automobiles that prevent accidents
  • Headlights – measure both dangers from the glare of the vehicle’s headlights and length of view
  • LATCH – checks for standards and measures for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children

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IIHS Awards

IIHS grants two significant awards based on scores on the above statistics.

  • Top Safety Pick
  • Top Safety Pick+

A vehicle must consistently perform well over the five following crash tests along the following measures to receive a Top Safety Pick award.

  • Small Overlap Front
  • Moderate Overlap Front
  • Roof Strength
  • Side
  • Head Restraints

A vehicle must achieve the requirements for Top Safety Pick as well as earn a headlight rating of acceptable or higher to receive a Top Safety Pick+ award.

Price Concerns

Protecting yourself is highly essential, and if you’re carrying insurance for personal injury, the above ratings will play a significant role in your bill.

Another thing to think about if you are planning on taking “full coverage” insurance is the cost to replace the vehicle you are considering. Unsurprisingly, small SUVs made by Mitsubishi are less expensive than small SUVs made by Audi.

While this is not a factor for safety ratings, it is an important fact to consider when shopping for insurance. Less expensive vehicles cost less to protect.

It is important to comparison shop insurance carriers, however, as some individual companies will rate specific features up or down.

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Safety Breakdowns

Below are listed comparisons for small SUVs made by Mitsubishi and Audi for 2017, as well as trends that may indicate changes to the 2018 models.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

  • Small Overlap: Good
  • Moderate Overlap: Good
  • Side: Good
  • Roof Strength: Good
  • Head Restraints and Seats: Good
  • Crash Mitigation: Superior
  • Headlights: Acceptable (with optional equipment)
  • LATCH ease of use: Acceptable
  • Awards: 2017 Top Safety Pick +
  • Trends: Steady improvement in crash mitigation since 2013, improvement in headlights since 2016
  • MSRP: From $23,495

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

  • Small Overlap: Average
  • Moderate Overlap: Good
  • Side: Good
  • Roof Strength: Good
  • Head Restraints and Seats: Good
  • Crash Mitigation: Not Available
  • Headlights: Poor
  • LATCH ease of use: Acceptable
  • Awards: None
  • Trends: No noticeable improvement or decline
  • MSRP: From $19,795

2017 Audi Q3

  • Small Overlap: Good
  • Moderate Overlap: Good
  • Side: Good
  • Roof Strength: Good
  • Head Restraints and Seats: Good
  • Crash Mitigation: Not Available
  • Headlights: Poor
  • LATCH ease of use: Acceptable
  • Awards: None
  • Trends: No noticeable improvement or decline
  • MSRP: From $31,800

2017 Audi Q5

  • Small Overlap: Good
  • Small Overlap (Passenger): Not Available
  • Moderate Overlap Front: Good
  • Side: Good
  • Roof Strength: Good
  • Head Restraints and Seats: Good
  • Crash Mitigation: Superior
  • Headlights: Marginal
  • LATCH ease of use: Good
  • Awards: 2017 Top Safety Pick
  • Trends: Steady improvement from 2015 to 2017 for crash mitigation, LATCH, and Headlight options
  • MSRP: From $40,900

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The Bottom Line

Generally speaking, Mitsubishi does better than Audi in recent safety ratings. Audi’s Q5 is a good contender but is starting to get into mid-sized SUV territory.

When considering the cost of insurance by vehicle value, Mitsubishi does much better.

Be careful of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport model though, as it was unable to receive the top safety pick award. Roughly $4,000 more dollars will net you a safer, better-rated vehicle.

If you’re looking for the likely best-rated overall car on this list, the base Mitsubishi Outlander seems to be the clear winner.

Compare car insurance quotes to see how much you could save on the coverage you need. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool below to get started.

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