For what it's worth, I was also worried about this when I was researching SUVs and reading about crumple zones. One of the guys who used to train with us is a firefighter and first responder. He has seen way to many car crashes. He told me that the way the crumple zones are designed, even on impact, it would take a HUGE impact to actually crumple in enough on the back of the SUV AND through the crate to hurt the dog. He was talking about how the force of the impact is spread through the metal in the back towards the middle (I am not explaining this anywhere near how he did). His bottom line was, in a crate in the back of the SUV is STILL safer than dog in the passenger seat. As I say, just for what it's worth. I'm not telling you what to do. Only that I had the same concerns and felt much better after talking to him. He drove a pick up (covered back with a crate) but he told me, looking at my SUV, he would for sure use a crate in the back if it were his car.I used to keep my boys in the back of my Jetta Sportwagen. After reading up on vehicle crumple zones I have moved them to the rear seat. The cargo area of any large SUV would because of size and weight clearly be safer than my Sportwagen however there is no getting past the fact that any vehicle regardless of size by design will be safest in the passenger sections. I am not looking to start any disagreements I only strongly recommend that anyone putting thought into were the safest place for their dogs is to read up on the purpose and function of crumple zones and make their own choice.