Side Crash Tests

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A new test of a dozen small SUVs is giving the cars mostly bad marks for safety in side-impact crashes. Nine of 12 cars are being called "marginal" or "poor" for protecting passengers from the side.

It's the first time the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has run the test, using a dummy the size of a small woman and setting up a side crash.

Those crashes are causing more and more deaths, sparking increased investigations.

Overall, the greatest difference depended on whether the vehicle had side airbags.

The two SUVs scoring highest, the Suburu Forester and the Ford Escape, both were tested with the bags. The seven that scored the worst all had no side airbags.

To see the list for yourself, steer onto