The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has completed its latest round of crash tests, examining 12 small vehicles that typically sell in low volumes. Only one of the tested models earned the highest rating of “Top Safety Pick+” due to its crash-test performance and available collision-warning system, while five additional models received a “Top Safety Pick” rating. The remaining six small cars did not qualify for recommendation by the IIHS.
According to the IIHS, the 2014 Chevrolet Volt receives a “Top Safety Pick+” rating. It joins the2014 Honda Civic Sedan, 2014 Mazda 3, 2014 Toyota Prius, 2015 Volkswagen Golf 4-door, and2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 4-door as the only small cars to receive this rating.
To earn a “Top Safety Pick” in 2014, a vehicle must receive an “Acceptable” or a “Good” rating in the small overlap frontal offset crash-test, combined with “Good” ratings in all other assessments.
The newest members of the club include:
♦ 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid
♦ 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman
♦ 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer excluding Ralliart or Evolution variants
♦ 2014 and 2015 Scion FR-S
♦ 2014–2015 Subaru BRZ
♦ The Hyundai Veloster and the Scion xB received “Marginal” ratings in the small overlap frontal-impact test.
The remaining four models each earned a “Poor” rating in the small overlap frontal-impact test.
♦ Fiat 500L
♦ Mazda 5
♦ Nissan Juke
♦ Nissan Leaf
The IIHS began assessing vehicles for small overlap frontal-impact crash protection in 2012. Designed to replicate what happens when a vehicle traveling 40 mph collides with oncoming traffic, a tree, or a utility pole on the front left corner, this test bypasses the main front crush-zone structures on a modern vehicle, making it harder for the vehicle to manage crash energy. Vehicles that perform well in this test are, in the estimation of the IIHS, safer than vehicles that do not.