ARLINGTON, Va. — The 2010 Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ Cruiser, and Toyota 4Runner earn acceptable ratings, while the Nissan Pathfinder is rated marginal in recent roof strength tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The tests assess how well vehicles would protect people in rollover crashes.
In this test a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes.
Good rated vehicles have roofs that can withstand a force equal to at least 4 times the vehicle's weight. For an acceptable rating, the minimum required strength-to-weight ratio is 3.25. A marginal rating value is 2.5. Anything lower than that is poor.