No one saw this coming.
When people shop for muscle cars, safety is probably not on their mind. After all, when a new muscle car comes out we talk about how much power it makes and how fast it can get to 60 mph, not its safety. However, because these cars are typically driven quite fast, we are glad that the IIHS has just put the big three muscle cars through five crash tests. (The IIHS doesn't usually test the small muscle car segment.) Each of the cars tested was a V8 model, and after testing the Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger none were awarded a "Top Safety Pick."
According to the IIHS, the Mustang came closest to earning the "Top Safety Pick," while the Camaro fell short in one category and doesn't have a crash prevention system. The Challenger is most in need of improvement.
Data from insurance groups says that muscle car owners report high loses. The number of Mustangs that crash at Cars & Coffee probably inflate these numbers! IIHS president Adrian Lund says, "given that sports cars have high crash rates, it's especially important that they offer the best occupant protection possible in a crash." We definitely agree. In the newest test, the small overlap crash test, the Camaro had a good rating, the Mustang earned acceptable, and the Challenger was marginal. The small overlap test was the only thing holding back the Mustang from getting a "Top Safety Pick." In this test, the IIHS had to unscrew the crash dummy's foot in the Challenger. A real driver would be severally injured.
While muscle cars will never be paragons of safety it is still important to know how they fare when smashed up. If you are trying to convince your parents or perhaps your wife to let you get a muscle car, the Mustang looks like the safest of the three. Just take it easy when you leave Cars & Coffee events and you'll be fine!