The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) are the American equivalent of the EuroNCAP. They test new cars for safety and rate them based on their performance. They recently put the 2013 Buick Encore through a series of rigorous tests, and approved it as a safe family vehicle.
The IIHS tested the car for occupant protection in front, side, and rollover crashes, as well as seats and head restraints for neck protection in rear impact crashes. The Encore passed all the tests with ‘good’ rating, which qualifies it for the 2013 Top Safety Pick award.
The NHTSA meanwhile tested the Encore for front, side and rollover crashes, along with a side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side. The car received a 5-star here, which is the highest.
Joining the rest of five-star Buick lineup, including Verano, Regal, LaCrosse and Enclave, the Encore packs a great number of safety features, including 10 standard air bags, a standard Rear Vision Camera and the security of OnStar, standard four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, panic brake override, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, and a collapsible pedal system that reduces the risk of leg injury.
What enabled this small crossover to excel at the rollover crash test is a an advanced system designed for this purpose. It has sensors that deploy standard head curtain air bags prior to impact and leave them inflated for an extended period. The car’s rigid body also contributes to that. The Encore’s structure is comprised of more than 60 percent high-strength steel.