IIHS: Mismatched Bumpers Between Cars And SUVs Can Cost Big Page 2

December 2, 2010
Honda Civic and Honda CR-V bumpers

Honda Civic and Honda CR-V bumpers

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The two Honda vehicles tested—the Honda CR-V and Honda Civic—tested better than most, thanks to a slight two-inch overlap in their bumpers. "The CR-V's front bumper overlapped the Civic's rear bumper by more than 2 inches," said Nolan. "That may not sound like much, but it's enough to allow the bumpers to do what they're supposed to do."

The Kia Forte and Hyundai Tucson were another couple of vehicles that matched up better than most of the others; damage added up to a combined total of $3,601 over both vehicles, and the IIHS says that the $1,510 estimate for the Forte was the lowest of the cars in the group.

But the results of the Toyota Corolla and Toyota RAV4 weren't as good—in part, due to the RAV4's high bumper mounting and rear-mounted spare tire. When the RAV4 was struck from behind by the Corolla, the Corolla ended up with extensive damage to the hood, grille, headlights, A/C, and radiator support, while the RAV4, when struck by the Corolla, had crushed taillights and rear body panels.

Holding out for off-roading?

The suggestion from the IIHS (which in 2008 petitioned the federal government to regulate SUV and truck bumpers the same as cars: Stop placing SUV bumpers for rare off-road ability, as it's not the bumper that's the limiting factor for ground clearance or approach and departure angles anyway.

What do you think? Is there a good reason for SUV bumpers to be at a different height?

[IIHS]

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