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Most Minicars Fail New Frontal Crash Tests

Chevy Spark the only model to pass – barely.

by on Jan.22, 2014

The Chevrolet Spark was the only one of 11 minicars to pass the IIHS front crash test.

A new round of crash tests could give serious pause to those hoping to downsize in order to lower their fuel bills or simply to reduce monthly payments – especially those who don’t want to downsize their safety.

Of 11 new minicars examined by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 10 failed the trade group’s challenging new small overlap front test, the sort of crash common in real-world driving.  Only the Chevrolet Spark passed, and then just barely – the IIHS dubbing “these tiny vehicles the worst performing group of any evaluated so far.”

Safety News!

As a result, the Spark is now the only minicar to earn the group’s coveted 2014 Top Safety Pick award.  Several other models previously honored lose that endorsement after failing the new crash test which is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another car or an object like a utility pole or tree.


Fiat 500 Gets Top Crash Rating from IIHS

Good (and safe) things now come in small packages.

by on Oct.19, 2011

The Fiat 500 is only the 2nd minicar to get the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award.

The pint-sized Fiat 500 has received the top award for safety from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, making it only the second vehicle to land the coveted Top Safety Pick honors from the industry trade group.

The award applies to vehicles produced since mid-summer, when Fiat made critical modifications to its microcar, according to the IIHS.  The changes to the front seat were rushed to market after an earlier test found the original U.S. version of the Fiat 500 faring poorly in one of the institute’s tests.

Power Up!

The upgrade reflects the steady improvement in crash performance by even the market’s smallest products.  A steadily increasing number of compacts and subcompacts are coming through crash tests as well as bigger market offerings – though to date, only the Fiat 500 and the Ford Fiesta have qualified among minicars for Top Safety Pick status, meaning they received good scores in all the various IIHS test categories.