IIHS Picks First Small Car ‘Top Safety Pick Plus’

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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.”

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