Two Japanese cars recently got acknowledged for safety. The 2015 Nissan Sentra earned the Top Safety Pick honor from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), while the 2015 Acura TLX received a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Sentra performed poorly in IIHS’s small overlap front crash test in 2013, so Nissan made some key structural changes. These changes proved to be effective in making the compact sedan safer, as the car got a better rating this time around. The improvement from the “poor” to “good” rating in the aforementioned crash test allowed the Sentra to get the Top Safety Pick award, as the car already earned good ratings in other tests (i.e., roof strength, head restraint, side and moderate overlap front).
Nissan specifically worked on the Sentra’s front structure, as well as the A-pillar and door sill. The company also adjusted the length of the side curtain airbag, making it longer to better protect the head of the driver. These modifications were enough to limit intrusion in the driver space during the test. In a statement, the IIHS noted that maximum intrusion was “less than five inches at the lower door hinge pillar” and that the driver space was kept well. The institute also pointed out that the longer side curtain airbag offered better coverage, preventing the dummy’s head from hitting the side structure and from being hit by outside objects.
According to the IIHS, the dummy in the most recent small overlap test showed a low risk of injuries because of the safety improvements.
The 2015 Acura TLX previously received the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS and now it has earned another top rating in safety, this time from the NHTSA. Federal regulators gave the TLX a five-star overall vehicle rating after the luxury sedan excelled in the front crash, side crash and rollover tests.
The TLX’s performance in NHTSA’s safety tests is attributed to Honda’s new Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, which allows crash energy to be distributed more evenly throughout the vehicle. Other safety technologies, such as knee airbags, also enabled the car to pass the tests with flying colors.
Moreover, crash prevention and driver assistive technologies help make the TLX a truly safe vehicle. It is the first Acura model to come with AcuraWatch, a safety system that benefits from sensing technologies. Its features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, just to name a few.
Photo credit: nissanusa.com