ARLINGTON, Va. — The 2015 Audi Q5, a midsize luxury SUV, earns the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest award after its structure was improved for protection in small overlap front crashes.
The Top Safety Pick+ award and the good rating in the small overlap test applies to Q5s built after January. Vehicles that have come off the line since that date have a reinforced front end and occupant compartment.
In the small overlap test, a vehicle is sent toward a barrier at 40 mph so that only its left front corner collides with it. When the test was performed on the Q5, the driver's space was maintained reasonably well, with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the lower door hinge pillar.
During the crash, the driver dummy's movement was well-controlled. The head hit the front airbag and stayed cushioned until rebound. The side curtain airbag deployed and provided enough forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects.
Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of injuries in a crash of this severity.
To qualify for Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must earn a good or acceptable small overlap rating and a good rating in the Institute's four other crashworthiness tests — moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.
The "plus" is awarded to vehicles that have an available front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating from IIHS. The Q5's optional system earns an advanced rating.