In the midst of uncertainty about fuel prices, the compact SUV segment has been a rapidly-growing one, with many families trading down from full and mid-size SUVs, and finding the more compact counterparts suiting their needs just fine.
Well, consumers aren't the only ones taking notice of this burgeoning segment. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently tested 12 of the vehicles from the segment, and assigning a "Good" (the Institute's top rating) for four out of the 12 models tested. The winners were the Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forester, Honda Element, and Jeep Patriot. Interestingly, the Element's more conventionally-shaped stablemate, the CR-V, only rated a "Marginal" rating in the test. The Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson were given "Poor" ratings in the test, surprising considering the Koreans recent reputation for generally positive performances in crash tests.
The Subaru Forester also happens to be a winner in our book as well. It won our 2009 SUV of the Year competition and came in 1st place in a recent crossover comparison with the Mazda CX-7 and Volkswagen Tiguan..