Join Date: May 2011
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Six small cars, including two hybrids, have received the Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Cars that get the designation are the 2012 Ford Focus, 2012 Honda Civic, 2011 Hyundai Elantra, 2011 Lexus CT 200h hybrid, 2011 Nissan Juke and 2011 Toyota Prius.
To earn the award, a vehicle must receive the top rating of Good in front, side, rear and roof-strength crash tests. The vehicle also must have electronic stability control.
The Civic, CT 200h, Elantra, Focus, and Prius have at least one trim with an EPA-estimated fuel-economy rating of at least 40 mpg highway.
The institute's frontal crashworthiness evaluation is based on results of a 40-mph frontal-offset crash test. The side evaluation is based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier represents the front end of a pickup truck or SUV.
Seat/head restraints with good or acceptable geometry are tested using a dummy that measures forces on the neck. This test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph.
To pass IIHS’ roof-strength test, a vehicle’s roof must be able to withstand the force of four times the vehicle’s weight.
Six Small Cars Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick - KickingTires