Muscle cars have long been enthusiast favorites, but the results of a new series of crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveal that they may not be the safest cars on the road.
The IIHS, which is funded by the insurance industry, took 2016 examples of the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro and measured their crash-worthiness in a number of tests. None of the three American muscle cars were able to muster a strong enough result to qualify for the agency's Top Safety Pick award.
To achieve the coveted award, vehicles must earn good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations and have a basic-rated front crash prevention system. To qualify for the Institute's highest award, Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must earn good ratings in the five crash-worthiness tests and an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
2016 Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro IIHS crash safety results
It was the Dodge Challenger that performed the worst. As the oldest design in the group by more than half a decade, the findings aren't that surprising. However, IIHS says it had to unbolt the driver's seat after the Challenger's marginal frontal offset test in order to remove the crash test dummy. IIHS says it has only had to do this a handful of times before.
The Camaro scored the middle ground. It was let down by its performance in the roof strength test and its lack of front crash prevention.
The Mustang performed best overall, let down only in the small overlap front test.