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

Kia and GMC's midsize SUVs both received top safety ratings from the IIHS, but Kia scored higher. Safety upgrades can reduce 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 IIHS completed eight safety tests on two GMC midsize SUVs and one Kia model in 2017
  • None of the GMC and Kia models in the midsize SUV class scored perfect in all safety areas that were tested
  • Two of the three models analyzed by the IIHS were recipients of a special award for exceptional safety scores

With excellent models like the Kia Sorento, the GMC Acadia, and the GMC Terrain available in the midsize SUV class in 2017, you have stylish vehicle options to consider buying in 2017.

As you test drive each of these three well-equipped SUVs, you may understandably feel a serene sense of comfort behind the wheel.

Between the pampering features and well-designed interior, as well as the large size of these vehicles, you can easily feel overwhelmingly safe as you cruise down the road.

While the overall feeling of safety is considerable for each of the vehicles in this class, the safety test results published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicate varying overall safety levels.

More than that, some vehicles had very low results in some of the eight tested areas.

Because you want to stay safe on the road and because your auto insurance rates may be influenced partially by how safe a vehicle is to drive, it is important to analyze the test results from the IIHS before deciding whether to buy the Kia SUV or one of the two GMC models.

Compare car insurance quote for these different models to see which one offers the lowest coverage rates. Enter your zip code above to get started.

How the Kia Midsize SUV Rises above the GMC SUVs in Safety Tests

The IIHS is a highly reputable resource that was originally founded to help automakers identify areas that need improvement to make their vehicles safer.

Consumers can also analyze the test results published each year for the latest midsize SUV models to determine which vehicle may be safer overall to drive.

A closer look at the IIHS safety tests performed on these three midsize SUVs and the results of the tests, you may more easily make your important buying decision.

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Understanding How the IIHS Safety Tests Are Grouped

With results from eight safety tests to review from the IIHS each year, it can be challenging to find meaning in all of the results overall.

To simplify matters, the IIHS has placed all eight of the safety tests performed into three larger categories that describe the purpose of the tests as a group. These safety test categories are:

  • crashworthiness
  • LATCH
  • crash avoidance and mitigation

Vehicles that have high ratings in the IIHS crashworthiness test group are generally better able to prevent injuries to occupants if an accident occurs, and there are five tests in this category.

The LATCH safety category only has a single test in it, and the purpose of this test is to examine the ease or complexity associated with properly installing child safety seats in the vehicle.

The final category of crash avoidance and mitigation features two test results, and these results tell you if a vehicle is effective at either avoiding a collision or limiting how severe it may be. Safety test results for most of the IIHS tests are rated with one of the following scores:

  • Poor
  • Marginal
  • Average
  • Good

Only one test under the crash avoidance and mitigation category has a different grading system, and it features possible scores of:

  • Basic
  • Advanced
  • Superior

Can the SUV protect its occupants in a collision?

A vehicle that ranks well in the area of crashworthiness may have great scores in all five of the safety tests in this category, and these are:

The Acadia, Sorento, and Terrain all received a “good” score in all five of these safety tests.

Are the child safety seats easy to install?

The LATCH safety test results should be important for any auto buyer who plans on installing a child safety seat in the car at some point. This is another test area where the three vehicles had the same test results.

All three of the GMC and Kia midsize SUVs received a score of “average” when the LATCH test was performed.

Can the SUV reduce or avoid a collision?

The two tests of Front Crash Prevention and Headlights are grouped together under the crash avoidance and mitigation category. For Front Crash Prevention, the Sorento and Acadia had a “superior” test result, and the Terrain only received a “basic” result.

For the Headlights safety test, the IIHS gave the Sorento an “average” score. The GMC Acadia was given a “marginal” result, and the Terrain generated a “poor” result.

Reviewing the IIHS Safety Test Awards

In order to qualify for the coveted IIHS award for Top Safety Pick, the vehicles must have a higher mark in the Front Crash Prevention test and a “good” score for each of the tests that rate how crashworthy a vehicle is.

The higher award of Top Safety Pick+ has the extra requirement for a vehicle to have a higher mark for the Headlights test.

The Kia Sorento was given the highest award of Top Safety Pick+ for 2017., the GMC Acadia was given the Top Safety Pick award, and the Terrain did not rate high enough in critical test areas to qualify for a safety award.

Your goal to find a safe vehicle to buy in 2017 may indicate that the Kia Sorento is a safer vehicle to buy and drive in 2017, receiving the highest rating possible in all areas except Headlights and LATCH.

The GMC Terrain and the GMC Acadia fell behind in several areas each, making them less safe to drive overall. Be aware that safety test results and features can be analyzed by auto insurance companies when you buy coverage.

Compare auto insurance rates for all vehicles that you are thinking about buying so that you can find an SUV that is more affordable to insure in the years to come. Enter your zip code below to start comparing right now.

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