Nissan and Ford Midsize SUV Safety Rating Comparison: Who Comes Out On Top

Nissan and Ford Midsize SUV Safety Rating comparison is important because Nissan's midsize SUV received a top safety rating from the IIHS, while Ford's SUV did not. Because Nissan received a better safety vs Ford, they will generally have lower insurance rates. Upgrade your car's safety features to lower your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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...

  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a non-profit company that gets its funding from the car insurers
  • Nissan Murano is a prime example of high-quality SUVs that has adopted new technologies that car manufacturers have been implementing lately
  • Ford Edge comes packing a powerful V6 engine that enables this SUV to perform as notably as any other car type
  • The safety of SUVs has improved largely over the past decade
  • Courtesy of amazing features such as the danger detection and auto braking, drivers can now enjoy driving “intelligent” vehicles

The improvements made in the field of technology have resulted in breakthrough within the car industry.

A perfect example is how the manufacturing process has been simplified with the use of machines, and vehicles can now get mass produced in thousands a lot faster than ever before.

Sports Utility Vehicles have seen all the breakthroughs mentioned, which undoubtedly turned them into one of the most prominent car types available.

The combination of state-of-the-art features such as danger detection and avoidance, contemporary design, and enormous space offered makes them a perfect fit for working professionals and families.

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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

To disallow manufacturers from dedicating too much time to details and not enough to basic necessities such as safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests hundreds of cars.

The testing is conducted through a series of real-life evaluations that include crashing and hitting the car as many times as needed.

There are three main areas the Institute is concerned with and those are crashworthiness, crash prevention, and child anchors. Each of these is sub-divided into a couple of more areas that are all critically assessed:

  • Crashworthiness is composed of small and moderate overlap collisions, side and roof impacts, and head restraints abilities.
  • Crash prevention contains the 25-mph and 12-mph tests, as well as an overview of the forward collisions warning systems.
  • Child anchor capabilities are quantified through a simple observation.

The ratings for crashworthiness and child anchors (latches) can be poor, marginal, acceptable, or good, ranging from the worst to the best. Crash prevention is slightly different as it only has three possible ratings, basic, advanced, and superior.

Also, headlights play a role when conducting the crash prevention testing as they fall within this category.

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Nissan Murano Versus Ford Edge


The scores obtained by Murano were slightly better than those Ford Edge got, as the small overlap test was only acceptable for the latter brand.

The four other categories were all rated good in both situations, and the only test without a score was the latest addition, the small overlap passenger test.

Ford missed the good rating in the first test due to a couple of reasons. The survival space was maintained reasonably well as there was some intrusion, yet not enough to cause major injuries.

Also, the airbags got deployed in a manner that left a gap in-between the front and side cushion, and the dummy’s head ended up contacting the instrument panel and A-pillar through this hole.

Nissan, on the other hand, showed a spotless ability to maintain a perfectly safe survival space with minimum intrusion. There was a very low risk of injuries to the driver, and the airbags were deployed efficiently.

The brand scored a 4.54 strength-to-weight ratio which was a little under what Ford achieved. Regardless, both ratios were well above the threshold to get the good rating.

All factors considered, the small overlap test comes as the deciding area that makes the crashworthiness a category which Nissan won.

Crash Prevention and Mitigation

The comparison within this category goes a lot further than a single-test difference. The test gives each model a chance to win six total points, and Nissan Murano completely outclassed Ford Edge with a five to one victory.

The lack of an auto brake in the Edge model had a detrimental impact on the results as all five points were lost in both the 12-mph and 25-mph assessments.

Murano, however, won all the points for the 12-mph test as it avoided a collision, and won two points for the 25-mph test where an 11 mph reduction was achieved.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

The only tie in this comparison came with the LATCH. The number of anchors available was identical for both cars with two rear seating positions that have complete attachments and one position with a tether anchor only.

Since SUVs are owned by countless families nation and worldwide, having the ability to connect a child seat is crucial. An area where Nissan showed some struggles was the location that was deemed as “too deep in the seat.”

Ford’s anchors, likewise, had issues with the depth of placements, although the model had other hardware that could be mistaken as a latch.

Ultimately, there was no winner in this category as the performance of one model mirrored the performance of the other.

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

Top Safety Pick comes with a perfect rating in crashworthiness (all five good scores) and an advanced or superior crash prevention grade.

Top Safety Pick Plus goes by the same standards, but it also takes into account the headlights performance. Both models flopped on the second award since Nissan’s headlights were marginal and Ford’s were poor.

Additionally, Ford’s acceptable rating in the small overlap test disqualified it from the first award as well. Murano won this award as all the standards were met.

A quick glance through Murano’s and Edge’s full performance reports makes it obvious that the Japanese manufacturer dedicated more time and resources to safety.

Nissan outscored in crashworthiness (the small overlap test), crash prevention, and headlights. Ford tied the last category, child anchors, which was the only notable achievement in comparison with Nissan. Thus, the winner is Murano.

Insurance Policies and Safety Ratings

Besides the obvious differentiating factors one comes across when deciding what vehicle to purchase, there are dozens of other areas to be taken into account. One example is the insurance that will be mandatory.

Insurance enables drivers to get monetary help in case there is an accident that damages the vehicle. Also, getting payments for medical treatments if one is injured is handled through insurance companies.

Some factors that must be considered are the following:

  • premium
  • deductible
  • amount of coverage

To facilitate an accessible overview of the many options that exist in the market, one can utilize websites that showcase multiple offers.

This way, potential buyers and existing owners of vehicles can look through different quotes and coverages, which ultimately enables them to get the best policy. Compare quotes right here to find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code to begin!

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