IIHS doesn’t normally test sports cars, but this year they put the big three of American muscle to the test. The 2016 Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger were tested for front and side impacts, roof strength, and head restraint and seat functionality. When it comes to these kinds of vehicles, raw power is what most of us look for, safety isn’t always a concern. But sports cars have high crash rates, naturally, so “it’s especially important that they offer the best occupant protection possible in a crash,” says IIHS president, Adrian Lund.
Out of the three, the Ford Mustang was the closest to receiving the Top Safety Pick, falling just short of receiving a Good rating in the small overlap front test. The Camaro takes second place since it lacks a basic-rated front crash prevention system and received only an Acceptable rating in roof strength tests. That leaves the Challenger in last place, similar to how the Dodge Ram 1500 took last place out of all pickup trucks that were tested earlier this year (though the Challenger did not perform as poorly).
Fiat Chrysler commented on their car receiving the lowest scores saying, “No single test determines overall vehicle safety. FCA U.S. vehicles meet or exceed all applicable government safety requirements. FCA U.S. urges all motorists to follow all applicable traffic laws and maintain control of their vehicles accordingly.” Their statement is nearly identical to what they said after IIHS gave the Ram 1500 poor grades.
If Ford can just take care of their shortcoming in the small overlap front test, it could grab the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick next time around, if it has any desire to accomplish that. When sports cars are getting more powerful every year, wouldn’t you want them to be safer? How much thought do you put into safety with your car choices?