HOUSTON - SUVs are popular rides for families, but some of the smaller vehicles have received poor marks in the latest round of crash tests.
When you think "SUV," you may think tough, sturdy and safe. But a safety group says that's not always the case.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested 13 small SUVs. Only two passed the tests.
Researchers ran only the front corner of the vehicles into a rigid barrier. Time and time again, the group said the SUVs were not able to absorb the impact, which means significant amounts of steel and other car parts were pushed inside the vehicles.
"The majority don't do a very good job of managing the energy once you get out closer to the corners of the vehicle," said the Institute's Joe Nolan.
Only the 2014 Subaru Forester earned an overall rating of "good."
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander passed with a rating of "acceptable."
The other 11 SUVs received an overall rating of "marginal," including Nissan's Rogue. Jeep's Patriot received a "poor" rating.
Even with that rating, IIHS awarded the Jeep Patriot a "top safety pick," but only when it is equipped with optional side torso airbags.
To review the crash test data for any of the 13 SUVs tested, click here.
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