IIHS: Small cars safer than before

May 27, 2011 12:00 AM

Fuel efficiency is one of the foremost topics on the mind of drivers purchasing a new vehicle right now, as gas prices are through the roof and many buyers are looking to save in any way that they can. However, one should never compromise safety in the name of saving a buck. Fortunately, according to new test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers won't have to.

The group recently tested 13 new small cars and crossovers in a series of front, side, rear and rollover impacts. Each car was given a rating in each category: either "marginal," "acceptable" or "good." Only cars that scored a "good" in all four tests were awarded the coveted "Top Safety Pick" award.

In this batch of models, six cars were honored with the prize: the Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Nissan Juke, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Lexus CT200h. While models like the Dodge Caliber and Suzuki SX4 didn't quite make the grade, the IIHS noted that the segment had improved overall.

"The bottom line is that small-car safety is improving, and that many of the most fuel-efficient cars that are available today are now available with very high levels of crash protection, which wasn’t the case a few years ago," chief research officer David Zuby told the New York Times.

Back to news