Both sedans ace the small overlap test.
Two new sedans have earned the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award from the U. S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. First up is the new 2016 Nissan Maxima, which performed better than the previous generation model and is the automaker’s second vehicle to earn the TSP+ designation. Also earning top marks is the recently refreshed 2016 Volkswagen Passat.
The Institute gave the 2016 Maxima the highest possible rating of “Good” in the challenging small overlap front test. This evaluation simulates a direct, 40-mph (64-km/h) crash at the vehicle’s front corner. By comparison, the previous Maxima only received an “Acceptable” rating in this area. Another requirement for the TSP + award is a front collision prevention system rated “Advanced” or higher. Here, the Maxima earned the highest rating of “Superior.”
The agency also points out that the Maxima did well in other tests including the head restraint/ seats and roof strength exams, both of which were rated “Good.” The Toyota Avalon, a main competitor to the Maxima, is also rated a TSP+.
Meanwhile, the 2016 Volkswagen Passat now joins the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chrysler 200, Mazda6, and the Subaru Legacy in the group of mainstream midsize sedans rated as a TSP+ by the IIHS. The Passat earned a “Good” rating in the small overlap test and an “Advanced” designation for its front collision prevention system. That’s because VW added optional forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking to the Passat for model-year 2016.