Is Kia’s safety rating for midsize SUVs better than Dodge’s?

Kia's midsize SUV received a top safety rating from the IIHS, while Dodge's midsize SUV did not. Safety upgrades can lower your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

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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 2017 Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey had substantially lower safety scores than the Kia Sorento had, based on IIHS tests
  • The Kia Sorento was a recipient of the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ honor from the IIHS
  • The Dodge Journey had “poor” safety test results in two important areas in 2017

One of the reasons why many drivers choose to purchase a vehicle in the midsize SUV class rather than in other vehicle classes is because they love the larger size of these models.

While not the largest SUV on the road, a midsize SUV has an elevated height on the road above sedans and coupes, and they also have ample room to give you an overall feeling of safety while you are commuting to work, running errands, or driving loved ones around.

You may be test driving the 2017 Dodge Durango, Dodge Journey, and Kia Sorento in an effort to decide which model may be a best-fit for your budget and overall transportation needs.

While these various midsize SUV models are similar or comparable in many ways, one significant difference that you will notice is in the area of IIHS safety test results.

Because you have a strong desire to buy a safe vehicle and to choose a model that may be more affordable to insure, a closer look at the safety test results released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) can be helpful.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code into our free tool above to get started.

Safety Test Results for Kia and Dodge Midsize SUV Models

One of the main reasons the IIHS began running safety tests on various makes and models in different vehicle classes was to help automotive manufacturers improve the level of safety in their vehicles.

While they have been effective in many ways with this goal, some models still fall far behind in specific test areas.

In fact, the Kia model and the two Dodge models reviewed in the midsize SUV class in 2017 have striking differences in several tests that you need to know about before you make a vehicle purchase.

Altogether, the IIHS runs eight unique tests on the vehicles that it reviews. To help others better understand the safety results, it has categorized these eight tests into three main sections. These three sections are:

  • LATCH
  • crashworthiness
  • crash mitigation and avoidance

Through an analysis of the single LATCH test, you can determine if it is easy to correctly install a child’s car seat in the SUV. Through the five crashworthy tests, you can obtain valuable information about how well an SUV protects its occupants if the vehicle is involved in a crash.

In the crash mitigation and avoidance section, two safety tests tell you more about how well the SUV can potentially reduce the severity of a crash or avoid an accident altogether. To further simplify the test results, it also ranks vehicles with a score that ranges from “poor” to “good.”

There is one exception to this rating system that you will notice when you explore the Kia and Dodge safety ratings. For the Front Crash Prevention test, the vehicles have one of the following grades:

  • Basic
  • Advanced
  • Superior

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How easy is it to install a child safety seat?

Through the LATCH section for child car seat installation results, a single LATCH test is performed on each vehicle. The 2017 Kia Sorento and Dodge Durango models earned an “average” test result. The Dodge Journey had a lower score of “marginal” in this test.

How protective of passengers and drivers is the vehicle?

Each year, the IIHS completes five crashworthy tests, and these tests are for Roof Strength, Side, Head Restraints and Seats, Front Small Overlap, and Front Moderate Overlap.

The Kia Sorento received the highest possible score of “good” in all five tests. The two Dodge models scored “good” in only four of the tests. For the Front Small Overlap test, the Durango had a “marginal” grade, and the Journey had a “poor” test result.

How well does the SUV avoid collisions or mitigate them?

Through the Headlights and Front Crash Prevention tests, you can analyze the vehicles’ abilities in the area of crash avoidance and mitigation. The Kia Sorento earned a “superior” Front Crash Prevention score and an “average” score for the Headlights test.

The Durango received a “basic” score for Front Crash Prevention and a “marginal” Headlights grade. The Journey was not tested in the Front Crash Prevention area, and it received a “poor” Headlights test result.

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Which models received IIHS safety test awards?

The two IIHS safety test rewards given to midsize SUVs in 2017 are the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards. Through the first award, excellence in the areas of Front Crash Prevention and crashworthiness are honored.

The second award honors vehicles that meet these requirements and that have also shown excellence in the Headlights safety test. 

Of the Dodge and Kia vehicles in this class, the 2017 Kia Sorento was the only vehicle honored in this way, and it was given the Top Safety Pick+ award.

The 2017 Kia Sorento scored much higher in several IIHS safety tests than the two Dodge models, and this includes in LATCH, Front Small Overlap, Front Crash Prevention, and others. Safety ratings may also affect your car insurance cost going forward.

Drivers who are focused on making a well-rounded buying decision that takes multiple factors into consideration may consider obtaining SUV insurance quotes before buying a new vehicle.

Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below to get started finding the best rate for your car insurance needs!

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