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IIHS Small-overlap Crash Test of Small Cars – Middling Results

Posted on August 8, 2013

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released the results its small-overlap crash test of 12 small cars (IIHS Press Release here). The small-overlap test is increasingly relevant as distracted driving is on the rise, leading to an increase in these type of crashes (to gain a better understanding of this test, see Car Match’s prior article re: auto safety / crash testing here). The results aren’t terrific, with only the 2-door and 4-door Honda Civic earning a “Good” rating. Several small car models garnered the “Acceptable” rating, which is sufficient to earn them the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ designation. These models include the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus 4-door, Hyundai Elantra and Scion tC. The remaining six models managed only a “Marginal” or “Poor” rating, both of which suggest a high likelihood of serious injury. Although many consumers believe government regulations guarantee them a safe car, there is still clearly a large safety gap between various models. If you would like to be advised about which models offer the very best safety while meeting your other needs and requirements, visit us at Car Match Car Buying Advice.

Interestingly, the tested small cars as a group did markedly better than the small SUVs / crossovers recently tested by the IIHS. Results from that test are available at this link) This might surprise many, as people generally report feeling safer in SUVs versus cars. That being said, small SUVs / crossovers outweigh small cars by several hundred pounds, which does give them an advantage in many types of accidents. We hope to see future redesigns of the small cars that fared poorly (the Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic, Volkswagen Beetle, Kia Forte and Soul and Nissan Sentra) perform better in future crash tests.

The final column of the attached chart shows the results of the latest small-overlap crash test.


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