IIHS Picks First Small Car ‘Top Safety Pick Plus’


J.D. Power blog - March 12, 2013

The Insur­ance Insti­tute for High­way Safety makes its first “top safety pick plus” of a small car, based on the new rat­ings set by the Institute.

Find out which small car received a top rating.

The updated 2013 Honda Civic is the first small car to earn a “Top Safety Pick Plus” rat­ing from the IIHS, thanks to a “Good” rat­ing in the new small over­lap frontal-impact test that the vehicle’s struc­tural changes were intended to address. Honda made addi­tional safety-related changes for the 2013 model year, includ­ing mak­ing a revers­ing cam­era stan­dard equip­ment and installing new SmartVent side-impact air bags. Addi­tion­ally, Short Mes­sage Ser­vice (SMS) text mes­sag­ing is also stan­dard for the 2013 Civic, and the automaker plans to make a lane-departure warn­ing sys­tem and a forward-collision warn­ing sys­tem optional on the Civic Hybrid model.

Among the changes were struc­tural mod­i­fi­ca­tions designed to help the vehi­cle per­form well in strin­gent new small over­lap frontal impact tests con­ducted by the Insur­ance Insti­tute for High­way Safety (IIHS). By Honda’s account­ing, these changes and other upgrades intended to fix real or per­ceived fail­ings of the redesigned 2012 Civic, cost the automaker $500 per car that it sells.

Were the changes worth­while? By one mea­sure, the answer is “Yes.”