The 2016 Fiat 500X crossover has been given the Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It is the second vehicle from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to do so, after the Chrysler 200.
To qualify for the Top Safety Pick rating, the cars must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It must also score a good or acceptable rating in the challenging small overlap test. To earn the Top Safety Pick+ rating however, the vehicles must also have an available front crash prevention system which it needs to pass with at least an advanced or superior rating.
The 500X recorded a “good” score in each test it had to undergo. One of the most difficult evaluations is the small overlap front crash test. In this test the crossover’s driver space was maintained reasonably well with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the door hinge pillar and instrument panel. It was noticed that the dummy’s head contacted the front airbag and moved to the left thus leaving the head vulnerable to contact with the forward structure. This vulnerability was addressed by the side curtain airbag which deployed and was found to have sufficient forward coverage to protect the head.
The Fiat 500X has an ‘optional’ front crash prevention system that helped the test mule avoid a collision in 4 out of 5 runs, in the 12 mph test. In the 25 mph test however, the impact speed was reduced by 5 mph.
The IIHS tests simulate varied number of accident scenarios such as side impact with a large SUV, a moderate-offset frontal impact, a small-offset frontal impact, roof-crush consistent with a rollover and a rear collision capable of inducing whiplash.