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Honda Accord, Suzuki Kizashi Top Midsize Sedans in New Crash Test

Toyota Camry, Prius models flunk.

by on Dec.20, 2012

The 2013 Honda Accord after undergoing the Small Offset Crash Test.

Only two of 18 midsize family cars earned “good” ratings in the new frontal crash test by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, and one of those will soon be leaving the market.

The 2013 Honda Accord and Suzuki Kizashi were the only mainstream midsize sedans to earn good ratings, with the IIHS rating another 11 models  as “acceptable.” Two cars from Toyota landed in the “poor” category, the insurance industry-funded organization reported, the recently redesigned Camry and the new Prius V. In fact, the hybrid model “sustained major structural damage in the test,” the IIHS revealed in a new release.

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The overall results might not seem impressive yet the family sedans actually outperformed the midsize luxury and near-luxury models previously tested by the Institute, noted IIHS President Adrian Lund.

“It’s remarkable, Lund said, adding that, “The difference is stunning. Thirteen of these midsize cars offer better crash protection than all but three of their luxury counterparts, and at a price that’s easier on the wallet.”

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Small Cars Overcoming Safety Concerns

Many new models commanding highest ratings in crash tests.

by on May.27, 2011

A Ford Focus in the IIHS side impact crash test.

When Ellen Pierson’s daughter was ready to get her license, the suburban New York mother of three fretted about what to let the high school student drive.  “It had to be as safe as possible,” Pierson says, “so I began thinking something in a big SUV.”

Her daughter Lynn, on the other hand, wanted something hipper and, like many of today’s young drivers, something that was more environmentally friendly.  She was eying a Ford Fiesta.  Almost small enough to fit in the back of some of the big SUVs, mother Pierson was aghast – until she checked the crash tests and realized that the Fiesta was ranked right up there with some much bigger vehicles.

Told to chip in with some of the money she had earned over several summer vacations, Lynn got the car of her young dreams.

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Ellen Pierson isn’t the only one surprised by what she has discovered about today’s new crop of small cars.  Indeed, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has announced that six of the 13 compact vehicles it recently tested earned the industry-funded groups “Top Safety Pick.”  None landed in the “poor” category in any of the four crash tests each vehicle is subjected to.  The latest to earn the top ranking were the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Juke, Toyota Prius and Lexus CT200h.

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Leaf, Volt Earn Top Crash Ratings

IIHS announces results of first-ever mainstream battery-car crash tests.

by on Apr.26, 2011

The new Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt battery cars earn IIHS Top Safety Pick endorsements.

A new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should calm those concerned about the safety of the new battery car technology.  After a series of crash tests, the IIHS has awarded the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt its highest safety ratings

The trade group says the results – which came from the first test of mainstream battery-powered vehicles – shows that the industry is putting the same focus on safety engineering for the new vehicles that is going into today’s more conventional vehicles.

Volt and Leaf not earned the institute’s top, “Good” rating in front, side, rear and rollover crash protection, but were named IIHS “Top Safety Picks.”

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“What powers the wheels is different, but the level of safety for the Volt and Leaf is as high as any of our other top crash test performers,” said Joe Nolan, IIHS chief administrative officer.

The IIHS results add to the series of awards garnered by the Chevy and Nissan battery cars since their introduction in December.  Just last week, Leaf was named World Car of the Year by a panel of 66 automotive journalists from around the world.  Volt took honors as World Green Car, and was named North American Car of the Year by U.S. and Canadian journalists in January.

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