Lincoln MKS, BMW 5-Series earned poor rating in IIHS small overlap test

Article by Andrew Christian, on October 4, 2014

The BMW 5 series and the Lincoln MKS sat on the bottom of the pack of large luxury sedans that underwent the small-overlap crash test conducted by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The MKS received the lowest rating “poor” on the test while the BMW 5 series got a “marginal” rating.

This time, seven large sedans underwent the test, with the Infiniti Q70 sedan getting the top rating of “good.” IIHS said in a statement that driver space in the Q70 was protected “reasonably well,” and that test dummy measurements showed a low risk of serious driver injury following the crash.

As for the MKS, IIHS said the driver space in the vehicle was “severely limited” after the crash, adding there could be “likely” injuries to the driver’s left hip and “possible” left knee and lower leg injuries.

A Ford spokeswoman, however, insisted that the MKS is a safe vehicle with systems designed to protect passengers and avoid crashes. She added that the MKS has a structure that could manage crash energy under a variety of crash conditions. IIHS remarked that the BMW 5 series performed “somewhat better” than the MKS in the small overlap test.

The institute said that while both vehicles have similar levels of cabin intrusion, the BMW 5 series has good control of the test dummy’s body movement from front and side airbags. IIHS said that it is “likely” for the driver to be injured on the left leg.

The remaining vehicles tested by IIHS -- the Hyundai Genesis, Acura RLX, Mercedes-Benz E class and Volvo S80 -- all received “good” ratings on the small overlap.

The small-overlap test – developed to determine how well a vehicle protects a driver during a crash onto a pole or a tree – has become a problem test area for a number of carmakers since its institution in 2012. In fact, a number of vehicles from Audi, Honda, Kia, Mazda and Nissan, have received “poor” ratings on the test.

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