The number of SUVs with a four-star rollover rating had increased substantially since U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began rating them in 2001, according to a recently released report.
That year (2001), just one SUV earned four-stars, whereas in 2005, 24 earned a four-star rating as part of the newly released rollover test results for 2005 model year vehicles.
Assessing static stability factor (SSF) values – the predominant factor in NHTSA’s rollover ratings – the agency found a significant improvement in SUV ratings; passenger car and pickup truck scores have remained relatively constant.
For 2005 model year tested vehicles, the highest rated SUV was the Ford Freestyle 4×4, earning 4-stars and a 13 percent chance of rollover, if involved in a single-vehicle crash. The Freestyle matches the 2005 Chrysler Pacifica, a carryover vehicle from 2004, which also earned four stars and a 13 percent chance of rollover during the 2004 model year testing.
For pickups, the highest rated vehicle was the Chevrolet Colorado 4×4 and its twin, the GMC Canyon, the Dodge Dakota 4×4, and the Dodge Ram 1500 4×2 – each earning four stars and a 17 percent chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash. For vans, the highest rated vehicle was the Chrysler PT Cruiser, earning four stars and a 13 percent chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash. For passenger cars, the highest rated vehicle was the Ford Mustang, earning five stars and an 8 percent chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash.
“It is encouraging to see the positive impact our rollover rating program has had on making vehicles more stable, particularly on SUVs,” said NHTSA Administrator, Jeffrey Runge. “Today we have twenty-four MY2005 SUVs with a 4-star rollover rating whereas 2 years ago, we had only five.”
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