GMC vs Nissan Midsize SUV Safety Rating Comparison: Who Comes Out On Top?

GMC midsize SUV safety ratings for the Acadia were identical to ratings for the Nissan Murano. The high safety ratings for both GMC and Nissan will help keep insurance rates low. GMC midsize SUV safety ratings were based on crashworthiness, crash prevention, and child seat safety.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducts real-world evaluations of car protection measures
  • Three categories that the Institute evaluates cars on are crashworthiness, crash prevention, and child seat anchors
  • Nissan Murano is a mid-size SUV produced by the Japanese company since 2002
  • GMC Acadia is an example of a contemporary car with state-of-the-art interior features placed inside of this high-performing vehicle

There are currently over 250 million of cars in the United States only. Sports Utility Vehicles or SUVs and trucks account for nearly two-thirds of new vehicles sold.

Their size, power, and convenience are what has launched them as one of the most prominent car types, nationwide.

Compare car insurance quotes for these different makes of SUVs. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above and see how your premiums compare depending on which SUV you consider.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Sometimes, the manufacturers will neglect a lot of the key features that must exist. These include weak airbags that do not get deployed efficiently, a weak cabin that facilitates a large cabin intrusion, no danger sensors, and more.

To minimize the threat of unsafe vehicles, however, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) does very detailed tests based on real scenarios.

This Virginia-based company breaks down every vehicle’s safety into three components:

Each of the aforementioned is assessed through more than one test. Crashworthiness and crash prevention abilities of a vehicle are quantified based on intrusive testing that features collisions.

Child anchors examination, on the other hand, is not as invasive since the overview is given by simply observing the latches and discovering potential issues.

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GMC Acadia Versus Nissan Murano

In order to demonstrate the capabilities of prospective SUVs, GMC Acadia and Nissan Murano will go head-to-head in a thorough comparison. The ratings assigned for each of the models’ crashworthiness, crash prevention, and child latches categories will be matched.

Crashworthiness

The way that the Institute goes about this area of testing is simple. There are five separate categories and ratings attainable are poor, marginal, acceptable, or good, ranked from the lowest to the highest. The five test sub-categories are as follows:

  • Front Small Overlap
  • Front Moderate Overlap
  • Roof Strenght
  • Side Impact
  • Head and Neck Restraints

In case of GMC and Nissan, both vehicles excelled and obtained all five good ratings. The only area where there was no grade assigned was the small overlap test for the passenger side, as this test was just created in the late-October of 2017.

What the scores reflect about these SUVs is a great ability to maintain the survival space, high roof’s weight-to-strength ratio, good airbag deployment, and so on.

Neither of these two vehicles demonstrated a lack of protection for the driver as the impact was well-handled. The cabin intrusion was minimal and there was a very low risk of injury to the driver’s legs and feet.

The perfect review marked the first time ever that the GMC Acadia performed so well, while it was the third time in a row for Nissan. With all of this in mind, it is impossible to declare a winner of the category as the ratings were nearly identical.

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Crash Prevention & Mitigation

After crashworthiness failed to establish a better vehicle, crash prevention can be anticipated to go the same way. And once the scores are reviewed, this claim upholds as GMC’s and Nissan’s crash avoidance abilities were both superior.

The rating for this category is based on a 25-mph and 12-mph test. The ultimate goal is to reduce the speed and avoid a collision, and all of this has to be done with an auto brake and danger detection sensors.

There are six points in total, and Acadia won all of them while Murano received five.

The only point that the Japanese vehicle was unable to reach was related to the 25-mph test. After achieving the desired speed and detecting danger, the vehicle slowed down by 11 miles per hour.

This, unfortunately, would not be enough to always avoid a collision and thus stands as a potential area of underperformance.

Acadia received every point due to its perfect ability to avoid a collision in the 12-mph test and a speed reduction of 24 miles per hour in the 25-mph test. Consequently, the win goes to Acadia and it takes the lead in the comparison.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

The last review is the non-intrusive evaluation of child seat anchors or latches. Both Acadia and Murano had two rear seating positions with complete child seat attachments, while the GMC model had an extra seating position with a tether anchor only (two in total).

The ratings received by both models were acceptable. The grades are taken from the same scale as in crashworthiness, which means that there was room for improvement.

Interestingly enough, the foremost anchor problem that both of these cars saw were the latches located too deep in the seat.

2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

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The qualifications for Top Safety Pick include a perfect crashworthiness and superior or advanced crash prevention abilities. Both SUVs met these requirements and were subsequently given the award.

The lack of the Plus award was a consequence of a marginal headlight rating, as it had to be acceptable or good in order to qualify.

The comparison showcased an equal crashworthiness, headlights, and child latch rating between GMC Acadia and Nissan Murano.

The only area where SUVs had different scores was the crash prevention category, and even here their overall evaluation was the exact same.

Thus, declaring a winner is impossible unless one considers the six-to-five score in crash prevention in Acadia’s favor is enough to make it the ultimate winner.

If that is the case, Acadia won by such a small margin that it might as well be negligible. Lastly, there are other factors to be taken into account when considering which vehicle is a better choice. One of those, and probably the most important one, is the insurance.

According to the federal laws in the United States, each vehicle must be insured. Due to this, the implied costs of owning a vehicle go up to by thousands of dollars over the life of the car.

Obtaining the right coverage can help reduce these costs, and a simple method to research for them is to take advantage of the online websites that have multi-company comparisons of various insurance plans. Enter your zip code below to compare right here.

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