Of a dozen 2014 models vying for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star safety club in the latest round of testing, less than half made the cut. NHTSA's crash tests examine vehicles' safety performance in frontal and side collisions, as well as roof strength in rollover accidents.
Both the 2014 Buick Regal with eAssist and Verano front-wheel-drive sedans made the grade. The Regal received fours in both frontal and rollover ratings and a five in side-collision tests for an overall score of five. The Verano, also finishing with an overall score of five, received fives in both frontal and side collisions, and a four in rollover tests.
Kia and Lexus also added members to the five-star club. The 2014 Kia Sportage crossover with all-wheel drive scored fives in both frontal and side crashes, and a four in rollovers. Both the all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive versions of the 2014 Lexus IS350 sport sedan scored a four in frontal crashes, and fives in side-impact and rollover tests leading to a five-star overall rating.
The front-wheel-drive Impala Limited scored fours across the board, for an overall score of four. The four-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee received fours in frontal crashes and rollover tests, and a side-impact rating of five, for an overall score of four. Both the Forte and Versa Note scored a three in frontal crashes, a five in side impacts and a four in rollovers for an overall score of four.
A trio of pickup trucks also were tested, none of which gained entry to the five-star club. The four-wheel-drive 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 scored a three in frontal-crash tests, and fours in side impacts and rollovers for an overall score of three. Neither the rear-wheel-drive nor four-wheel-drive version of the 2014 GMC Sierra 2500 succeeded, both receiving an overall score of four, with threes in frontal crashes and fives in side impacts; in rollovers the rear-drive pickup scored a three and the four-wheel-drive a four.