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Here's a big revelation... :rolleyes:

Most mid-size passenger cars don't adequately protect occupants when struck in the side by a pickup truck or SUV, even if they have side airbags, according to a new test of cars conducted by the insurance industry. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said 12 of 15 midsize family cars earned the lowest possible rating in a test that simulates a full-size pickup truck or SUV "T-boning" the car at 31 miles per hour. The test results - the first for passenger cars - come at a time when regulators and automakers are moving to change the front-end designs of trucks and SUVs to make them less lethal to smaller passenger cars in crashes.

The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord equipped with optional side airbags are the only mass-market midsize cars to earn good ratings, which means the likelihood of serious injuries would be low. The Chevy Malibu tested with optional side head-protection airbags was rated "acceptable," because no torso protection is included in Malibu's airbags. Twelve others: Camry, Accord and Malibu without side airbags; Suzuki Verona, Mazda6, Dodge Stratus, Chrysler Sebring; Nissan Altima, Saturn L-Series, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Mitsubishi Galant all earned "poor" ratings. The Galant, Altima, Stratus, Sebring, and Mazda6 were tested without optional airbags because the companies were not willing to reimburse IIHS for the optional features. The Suzuki Verona does not offer side airbags. The Saturn L-Series and Hyundai were tested with standard side bags.

IIHS president Brian O'Neill says his group's front-crash tests have spurred design and technology to make most cars far safer than they used to be in head-on collisions. "We believe this new test will drive similar improvements in protection for occupants in side crashes," says O'Neill.

Not all side airbags are created equal. The Camry and Accords that scored well have side curtain bags that deploy from the roof down, which protect heads, plus torso airbags for front-seat occupants. Without airbags, the barrier struck the driver and occupant heads resulting in serious injury. The Malibu, which doesn't have torso airbags, scored well, but lower. In the case of the Hyundai, a combination head/torso side airbag that deploys from the side of the seat protected the driver, but not the rear-seat occupant. Saturn's side curtain bag didn't adequately protect the "short-woman" crash dummy as her head slid under the deployed airbag.

Side impacts are the second most common fatal type of crash after front crashes. The IIHS says 9600 people were killed in side crashes in 2002, the last year for which data is available. And in crashes between two vehicles more driver deaths occur in vehicles struck in the side than in the front, says O'Neill. Accident research by the IIHS shows side airbags with head protection reduce deaths by 45 percent among drivers of cars struck on the driver side. The IIHS test uses a moving deformable 3300-pound barrier shaped like the front of an SUV that slams into the driver side of the vehicle at 31 mph. Two crash dummies, representing a short woman and 12-year-old child in the back seat are inside. The National Highway Safety Administration is developing its own updated side-impact test, which would inevitably result in design changes to both cars and light trucks, as well as forcing some automakers to make side airbags standard equipment.

The auto industry, trying to head off regulation, has agreed to voluntary design changes for pickups and SUVs making them more compatible with passenger cars by 2008. At least 50 percent of vehicles will be designed for greater compatibility by 2007. Automakers say the design changes alone should reduce side-impact crash fatalities by 28 percent. - Jim Burt

http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=7057&sid=173&n=156
 

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Ahh, so there is a benefit to my 2 foot wide A pillar that seems to always be in the way... when I don't see the car there and I hit him, I'll be better protected :D :rolleyes:

(can I join your society??)
 

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seems that the Accord and Camry needed side airbags to achieve a good rating, but yet the ones without the side airbags got poors. The Saturn L-series got poors with side airbags apparently because the side curtain is too small.:rolleyes:

In 2005 Honda Accords, side airbags will be standard equipment. Currently, its a $3000 option.
 

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Hmmm... I wonder if they tested SUV's to see if they actually did any better? You'd think so, but maybe there's more likelyhood of rollover. I also doubt the IIHS will increase SUV premiums because of increased liability claims from t-boning smaller cars.
 

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jcg878 said:
!!!! Please tell me you have an extra digit there !!! :eek:
I guess I meant you can't get that option in the LX, but you have to pay $3k for the EX to have side airbags.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4759206/

Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is one of the best selling cars in America, but you can't get an optional side airbag for the basic models.

O'Neil: “Once again, we get the head struck by the barrier. A person might die in a crash like this.”

With that potential death, the Accord gets a poor. But the higher end Accord, EX, comes standard with inflatable side head protection. Honda asks the Institute to test that model, too.

O'Neil: “We did and it made a big difference. We go from injury forces that are potentially fatal without this airbag combination, to injury forces that suggest there would not be serious injuries in this crash.”

The difference, O'Neill says, is truly a matter of life and death. Without the head protection, a potential death, but with it, the Accord gets the Institute's top rating, a good.
 

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kiteboy said:
Hmmm... I wonder if they tested SUV's to see if they actually did any better? You'd think so, but maybe there's more likelyhood of rollover. I also doubt the IIHS will increase SUV premiums because of increased liability claims from t-boning smaller cars.
They did test SUVs. Subaru Forester got a good rating.

Small SUV side impact testing
 

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kiteboy said:
Hmmm... I wonder if they tested SUV's to see if they actually did any better? You'd think so, but maybe there's more likelyhood of rollover. I also doubt the IIHS will increase SUV premiums because of increased liability claims from t-boning smaller cars.
These tests were simulating a pickup/SUV hitting these cars. In order to get a similar result, you'd have to hit an SUV with a bus or semi (i.e. a bigger vehicle).
 

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On a separate, but related note...

My wife and I are considering getting a midsize SUV in the near future. I was doing some research on the IIHS crash tests and noticed that the Acura MDX did better than the Honda Pilot. Guess the MDX is more than just a dressed up Pilot.
 

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sjlee said:
.....My wife and I are considering getting a midsize SUV in the near future. I was doing some research on the IIHS crash tests and noticed that the Acura MDX did better than the Honda Pilot. Guess the MDX is more than just a dressed up Pilot.
Do you know what exactly are the differences? Must be something.....

When we've been answering this about the TSX and the Euro Accord, it hasn't been that easy, although eventually we did.....
 

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larchmont said:
Do you know what exactly are the differences? Must be something.....

When we've been answering this about the TSX and the Euro Accord, it hasn't been that easy, although eventually we did.....
I have no idea what the differences are (safety wise) between the MDX and Pilot, but I would be interested in finding out.
 

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larchmont said:
What about any differences?
Are you having short-term memory issues? :p

Check your previous post...

Larch says:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by sjlee
.....My wife and I are considering getting a midsize SUV in the near future. I was doing some research on the IIHS crash tests and noticed that the Acura MDX did better than the Honda Pilot. Guess the MDX is more than just a dressed up Pilot.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you know what exactly are the differences? Must be something.....

When we've been answering this about the TSX and the Euro Accord, it hasn't been that easy, although eventually we did.....
 

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:donno: :donno:

I totally don't get what you mean. You pointed out that the MDX is (as we would have assumed) more than just a dressed up Pilot. And I just wondered if you knew about the actual differences between the cars.

What's wrong with that? :donno:
 

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larchmont said:
:donno: :donno:

I totally don't get what you mean. You pointed out that the MDX is (as we would have assumed) more than just a dressed up Pilot. And I just wondered if you knew about the actual differences between the cars.

What's wrong with that? :donno:
Yes, I understand that's what you asked, so then I posted (see above):

"I have no idea what the differences are (safety wise) between the MDX and Pilot, but I would be interested in finding out."

To which you replied:

"What about any differences?"

Seems like you were asking me something I already said I didn't know.
 

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Well, one of us is misunderstanding the other, and even now I don't know which it is!

Since you said you didn't know the differences "safety wise," I asked if you knew about "any" differences, meaning any kinds of differences AT ALL between the cars, not just about safety. Maybe I wasn't clear about that, but I thought I was. Or, maybe you meant in the first place that you didn't know the other stuff either and I just didn't understand that. I still can't tell which misunderstanding it is, but it's one or the other.

Sorry this is hard! Probably not worth it, certainly not worth a fight between friends. :)
 

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I wouldn't consider this even remotely a fight... just a misunderstanding.

I see what you were asking now, it wasn't clear to me. I'm not sure of the mechanical differences between the two, but here's what I've found on Edmunds. I've only listed things that might make a difference in safety, as there are many options that differ between the two.

MDX
HP: [email protected]
Torque: [email protected]
Wheels: 17" std
Stability control
Head airbags for all three seating rows
Front seatbelt pretensioners only

Pilot
HP: [email protected]
Torque: [email protected]
Wheels: 16" std
No stability control
No head airbags
Front and rear seatbelt pretensioners

In addition, the MDX is longer by 0.7 inches, narrower by 0.3 inches, shorter by 3 inches and heavier by 71 lbs.
 

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Got it -- thanks SJ!
There we go -- and what SJ mentions actually goes beyond just safety things.

We see that the MDX has more HP, more torque, and it's significantly heavier, especially in terms of proportion of weight to overall size -- i.e. it is significantly "denser." (Its length is a fraction larger and its width is a fraction smaller, in about the same proportions, so that's a wash; and its height is considerably less.) Plus there are extra features like stability control and the other things that SJ mentioned.

Since this all made me a bit curious, I did a little looking myself. Consumer Reports likes both cars. It gives the MDX a "Recommended" rating, and goes one better with the Pilot: it gets a "Top Pick" rating, meaning they consider it the #1 SUV in its price bracket (which of course is below the MDX's bracket). The only comparison they mention in the write-up about the MDX in the recent car issue is that the Pilot is "less costly and a shade roomier." In the Pilot write-up, they say just that the Pilot "has a less powerful version of the MDX's smooth V6." Interestingly they say the MDX is based on components from the Odyssey, which at first I thought couldn't be right but I think it probably is.

Consumer Guide (a different publication) likes both the MDX and the Pilot a lot, and both get very high scores, basically equal. The Pilot gets 1 point higher in fuel economy and ride quality, MDX gets 1 point higher in quietness and front seat comfort. Both get 10 out of 10 on "Value Within Class" which is sort of a "summary" category.
 

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larchmont said:
In the Pilot write-up, they say just that the Pilot "has a less powerful version of the MDX's smooth V6." Interestingly they say the MDX is based on components from the Odyssey, which at first I thought couldn't be right but I think it probably is.

Consumer Guide (a different publication) likes both the MDX and the Pilot a lot, and both get very high scores, basically equal. The Pilot gets 1 point higher in fuel economy and ride quality, MDX gets 1 point higher in quietness and front seat comfort. Both get 10 out of 10 on "Value Within Class" which is sort of a "summary" category.
Funny as it may sound, the Odyssey, Pilot, TL and MDX are all based on the same platform as the US Accord, but only the Odyssey, Pilot and MDX share the same engine (3.5L V6).

I think CR picked the Lexus RX330 as their top pick for luxury midsize SUVs (over the MDX), while the Pilot beat out the Highlander (which is what the RX330 is based on).

I don't think you could go wrong with any of the four SUVs. My wife wants to get an MDX, but I have a hard time justifying the $6000-8000 difference (comparably equipped) as well as the premium gas requirement on the MDX. Of course, the MDX is slightly "safer" than the Pilot, more powerful and has a nicer interior.

On a related not, I noticed that the Odyssey and Pilot both have the exact same engine specs (HP and torque), but the MDX is higher on both (+25HP and +11ft-lbs). Do you think it is because the engines are actually tuned differently or because it uses premium unleaded?
 
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