Only three of seven midsize cars tested earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safetys updated side crash test.

The Subaru Outback is the only midsize car to earn a good rating. With somewhat higher levels of occupant compartment intrusion, the Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Jetta manage acceptable ratings.

Overall, this initial group of midsize cars did not perform as well as the first batches of small and midsize SUVs evaluated earlier. One reason could be their lower ride height.

"With vehicles that sit lower to the ground, the striking barrier hits higher on the door panel,” says IIHS President David Harkey. “That potentially puts sedans and wagons at a disadvantage in this evaluation but reflects what happens in a real-world crash when these vehicles are struck by a higher-riding pickup or SUV.”

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