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

The Nissan Rogue received top safety honors from the IIHS in 2017, while the Audi Q3 did not. Safety features can reduce your auto insurance bill 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 Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is the company that rates vehicles’ safety through a series of real-life tests
  • Audi Q3 is a small SUV model ranked a little below average on its safety due to poor headlights and no crash prevention scores
  • Nissan Rogue received perfect crashworthiness and prevention scores while falling behind on the latch test


In 2017, buying a car is almost as simple as walking into a dealership and talking to a representative. Families that have purchased a famous car type, Sports Utility Vehicle, know this even better as they drive away in their sizeable automobile.

Although most SUVs are built to provide normal safety features, their size can become an issue to the driver who does not know how to maneuver the vehicle. No matter which you choose, make sure to compare rates with our free quote tool above today! 

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Crashworthiness is the first test that takes into account the following six areas: small and moderate overlap test, small overlap passenger-side test, roof and side-impact, and head restraints. The grades given out are good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Crash prevention has a forward collision warning overview, a 12-mph, and a 25-mph test. Ratings can be basic, advanced, or superior.

Child anchors are simply reviewed by observation and have the same grades as the crashworthiness.

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Nissan Rogue Versus Audi Q3

Crashworthiness

Before discussing the results of this test, there was an evaluation that both models have yet to complete. This is the passenger-side small overlap collision assessment that the Institute started conducting in late October of 2017.

Due to its recency, many vehicles have not been undergone the procedure for this test and consequently have no grade.

As far as the five categories that are available, there were 10 good scores split between these cars. Meaning, each model performed as well as can do which resulted in a perfect crashworthiness category.

Q3 and Rogue were complimented for their ability to upkeep the survival space that was not hindered by any intrusion to the cabin. The airbags were deployed in a way that the driver was protected from any hard objects.

Also, during the side test, the side cushions further demonstrated how the driver will be well protected in case of a T-Bone collision for example.

The in-depth statistics such as the roof’s strength-to-weight ratio and measures of intrusion were fairly similar for both automobiles. Therefore, the winner still remains to be crowned as this part of the comparison gave no insight into the higher-performing model.

Crash Prevention & Mitigation

The even score between Audi and Nissan did not last too long. By moving to the next area, it becomes obvious that Q3 fell behind in many aspects.

First, Nissan Rogue scored six out of six scores which gave it the superior rating for crash prevention abilities. Unfortunately for Audi, its model never even got rated in this category and had no points to show.

Nissan had all the features necessary to earn the highest ranking, and those include forward collision warning, auto brake, and motion detectors.

Rogue’s performance in the 12 and 25-mph test was notable as the first collision was completely avoided and the speed in the second test was reduced by 23 miles per hour.

Furthermore, the headlight grades confirmed the lack of abilities for the German manufacturer. Q3 received a poor rating as its headlights had inadequate visibility in all 4 curve tests.

Nissan was a lot better and only struggled with low beams creating some glare. This granted it an acceptable score.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

Lastly, Audi did a mini-comeback as it beat Nissan’s marginal latches with its acceptable score. The only issue that the Institute had with Audi was that other hardware could be confused with an anchor, while Nissan’s were too deep in the seat and difficult to maneuver around.

This will still not be enough to recover from the failures in the crash prevention category for Audi. Nevertheless, it is very notable that Q3’s latches had minimum issues as opposed to Rogue’s struggles that were numerous.

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

Since Audi had no scores for the crash prevention category, it was disqualified from getting either of the two awards that the Institute gives out.

Nissan, on the other hand, met all the necessary requirements to get its Top Safety Pick Plus award, the highest recognition possible.

The Winner

The vehicles compared performed well in the first category, crashworthiness, but then went on two separate ways with their performance. Audi demonstrated a lot of issues with its headlights and had no scores for crash prevention.

Nissan did the opposite and received the highest crash prevention rating and an acceptable headlight grade.

Although Audi did beat Rogue in the latch review, this was nowhere near enough to get out of its large deficiency. Therefore, the winner of the comparison is Nissan.

Besides the obvious factors of buying either of these vehicles, people need to consider the costs of other factors such as maintenance, registration, and insurance.

The hardest one of these to account for is insurance, as there is no specific guarantee on how much one will pay.

To get as close as possible to the rate that might be offered by insurance companies, one will have to research companies’ websites that apply algorithms with age, driving history, location, and other factors. This is a very time-consuming process that can be replaced with another endeavor.

Another endeavor is to simply visit online websites that have large insurance companies overviews and show exactly what the price range is. 

These sites are run by professionals who have already done the research necessary, which means that no driver will have to re-do anything but basically enjoy the simple method! Get your free quote now with our free quote tool below! 

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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