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2016 Muscle Car Crash Tests Show Not All Are Created Equal

by Shane McGlaun

In the racing world, the faster your car goes the more safety gear you need. You might think that means that a muscle car would be at least as safe as boring sedans. In some cases, you would be right, but in others, you would be dead wrong. To help us learn about the safety of today’s muscle cars, the IIHS has crash tested the three modern muscle cars. Among the tests was the notoriously difficult small overlap test.

None of the cars scored IIHS’s vaunted Top Safety Pick award, but two came close. The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro did very well, earning a Good rating, the best you can score, on small overlap, moderate overlap front, side, and head restraints and seats. The only Acceptable rating it received – the second best rating – was on roof strength. The 2016 Mustang scored Good on moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats, but Acceptable on small overlap front.

The Dodge Challenger, on the other hand fared much worse. It scored Marginal on the small overlap front crash test, causing serious damage to the passenger compartment. Only a Poor rating is worse. The Challenger scored Good on moderate overlap front, side protection, and Acceptable in roof strength, and head restraints and seats. Keep in mind that the Challenger is on a much older platform than the other two vehicles, and is due for a major redesign for the 2018 model year.

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