The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) does important work crash testing all-new vehicles, and the Institute has just released the second video in a series detailing exactly how they conduct crash tests.
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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently ran its small overlap crash test on the compact crossover segment, and two out of 13 vehicles managed to come away with top honors.
Newly implemented crash safety tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have redefined what a safe car is, with the first round of vehicles submitted to the latest procedure not faring well. In total just three of 11 luxury models tested had acceptable results.
The all-new Mazda CX-5 is shaping up to be an attractive crossover option for buyers (read our review here) and those who placed their orders will be happy to know it was just named a Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The CX-5 achieved a “Good” rating (highest possible) on all four tests conducted by the IIHS: front, side and rear impact crash tests, and a roof strength test.
The Mazda CX-5 Sport starts at $20,695 and boasts an EPA rating of 26-mpg city, 35-mpg highway. Standard is a Skyactiv six-speed manual transmission, though an automatic is available as an option. The CX-5 is built on the Japanese automaker’s new Skyactiv-Body and Skyactiv-Chassis, helping ensure it has a reinforced vehicle structure that is as quiet as it is rigid and secure.
Other standard safety equipment includes six airbags, four-wheel disk brakes, ABS, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, fold-away brake pedal assembly, front and rear crumple zones, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Earning a ‘Top Safety Pick’ distinction from the IIHS further exemplifies Mazda’s dedication for creating products that offer the best of everything that consumers want: fuel economy, performance, handling and, most importantly, safety,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations.
Watch the Mazda CX-5 earn a “Good” on its 40-mph frontal offset test after the break.
The 2012 Nissan Versa is not only one of the cheapest new cars for sale in North America, but it is also one of the safest.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has just awarded the new Versa sedan its top scoring honor of “Good” for front, rear, and side impact protection. It also was given the “Good” rating for the roof strength test, which looks at how a car would behave in case of a roll-over. These scores landed the Versa on the IIHS ‘top safety pick list’ for 2012.
The IIHS also looked at the safety features the Versa sedan comes with as standard, like six air-bags, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle dynamic control and traction control. Not bad for a car that has a base price of $10,990.
AutoGuide tested the Versa sedan a few months ago, and we were quite impressed with its spacious interior, its fuel economy and its entry price point.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 and its mechanical twin, the Dodge Charger are both recognized as Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after also earning a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA.
The American full-size sedans each received full marks in front and side crash tests and earned a commendable four-stars in rollover. However, the combined five-star overall rating for the two models exclude the high performance SRT8 versions.
Offering more than crash safety, the mechanically identical 300 and Charger both offer active safety equipment as well, including all-wheel drive, auto high beams, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, blind-spot sensor, and rear cross-path detection.
The IIHS bases their ratings for both vehicles on their performance in front- and side-impact crashes as well as a rollover test.
GALLERY: 2012 Chrysler 300c
GALLERY: 2012 Dodge Charger Blacktop
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is besting the competition for safety ratings, for now. The little sub-compact Sonic scored a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to beat out the Ford Fiesta, which only scored four out of five.
Safety isn’t the only thing we’re pleased to say makes the Sonic great, it’s a peppy starter car that comes available with a six-speed manual and a turbocharged four-cylinder that had us scooting past the speed limit with surprising ease. It also comes with 10 standard airbags.
The Sonic still has to go up against its other competition: this year’s Kia Rio and Honda Fit, which both have yet to be rated. The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan also still has to be rated, but the verdict isn’t looking good for its hatchback brother with three of five in the frontal crash category and four of five in rollovers.
Poor ratings aside, the Sonic hasn’t won the race yet. It got four out of five stars in the rollover category, so there is still a chance the unrated cars can equal or best it.
Of course, that rating is coming hot off the heels of a recall over missing brake pads in the Sonic. We’re willing to assume the rating is based on completely assembled cars.
The Sonic is also a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Read Autoguide’s Chevy Sonic review here.
Both manufacturers get to tout top honors in 2012 thanks to their safety-conscious cars. Subaru is now the only manufacturer that can claim IIHS Top Safety Picks for every one of their models.
Subaru won five awards in total to earn those bragging rights. ”It’s tough to win, and we commend Subaru for making safety a top priority,” said Institute president Adrian Lund.
Bragging rights aside, there is another safety king in the ring and despite not scoring top picks on all their models, Volvo still managed to swing the same five awards.
Safety is a key concern for both companies, but Volvo has long been the industry leader in packing their cars with innovative features meant to keep passengers out of harm.
They were the first company to introduce blind spot detection and are crediting this year’s wins to their innovative City Safety technology. At low speeds it offers an automatic braking feature that the IIHS found to reduce collisions by as much as 22 percent.
Ford’s Lane Keeping technology is much more effective than a cup of super strong coffee – this technology will let you know when you’re too tired to drive.
Set to launch in early 2012 on the Ford Explorer, the Lane Keeping technology is perfect for drivers that are in for the long haul or have to pull a late-night road trip. This system will keep drivers in control by alerting them when it detects signs of drowsiness.
Using a camera mounted near the rear view mirror, the system is able to keep track of how you’re driving. When it senses your attention is wandering, the alarms start to go off. Depending on how alert you are, you may get a warning chime or a coffee up that lights up on the dashboard.
And if all that fails, the system takes it up a notch to get you focused on the road. If you start to drift across the lanes, the steering wheel will vibrate in order to snap you out of your sleepiness.
“Our engineering teams tested this technology for thousands of miles in many parts of the country to help ensure it performs on a wide range of roads with different lane markings,” said Michael Kane, vehicle engineering supervisor for Driver Assistance Technologies for Ford.
After the jump, watch the video to see the Lane Keeping System in action.
The 2011 Dodge Durango was awarded the Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The SUV earned the award based on receiving a score of ‘good’ in front, side, rollover and rear crash tests.
The Dodge Durango implements advances to offer 45 safety and security featuers aiding drivers in vulnerable situations as well as keeping drivers safe when accidents occur.
“The performance of the Durango means buyers are getting the best protection in the most common kinds of crashes, and electronic stability control for avoiding many crashes altogether,” IIHS President Adrian Lund said.
The Durango can now join the line of other Top Safety Pick winners including the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Chrysler 200 sedan, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey and Jeep Patriot.
Check out the crash test after the jump!
Another one joins the list! And this time around, it’s the Saab 9-4X, a new midsize luxury SUV, that’s taken its place on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award list.
To earn this top safety designation, the 9-4X had to earn a rating of good in the IIHS’s front, side, and rollover evaluations (this was based on good performances for its structural twin, the Cadillac SRX). A good rating was also secured for protection in rear-end crashes (a separate rear impact test was conducted for the seats/head restraints.
To earn a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles need to earn the highest ratings in all four Institute safety evaluations, as well as have electronic stability control.
Make way for the new winners! Let’s give the Saab 9-5 and the Volkswagen CC three cheers for earning their places as IIHS Top Safety Pick award winners.
Earning good ratings for performance in the Institute’s roof strength test for rollover protection, these luxury vehicles also brought in good ratings for front, side, and rear crash protection, and both come standard with electronic stability control. It’s interesting to note that Top Safety Pick only applies to the front-wheel drive Volkswagen CC – that’s because the heavier all-wheel drive version only rated acceptable in the roof strength test.
Taking the test this time around were eight midsize to large family and luxury cars, but only the 9-5 and CC came out on top. The 2011 Lexus ES 350 earned a good rating for rollover protection, but didn’t get an award because it didn’t make the grade when it came to rear crash protection. Other contenders that earned acceptable ratings for rollover protection were the BMW 3 series, Chevrolet Impala (models built after July 2010), Infiniti G, Lexus IS 250/350, and Saab 9-3.
The Chevrolet Volt is the first electric vehicle to receive a five-star overall vehicle score under the new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program. In addition, the Volt is also a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“Safety is a key consideration for all buyers no matter how a car is powered – gas, or in the case of the Volt, electricity,” said Doug Parks, Volt global vehicle line executive.
The stricter assessment includes a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or three at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the drivers side.
Safety features on the Chevy Volt include an electronic stability control system as well as front, side and knee airbags coupled with roof-mounted, head-curtain airbags protecting occupants in case of a rollover.
The Volt is capable of driving the first 35 miles tailpipe emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the battery runs low, the gas engine/generator effortlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank, totaling 379 miles for total driving range.
The all-new 2012 Honda Civic sedan models received the highest safety rating of Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, announced today.
In order to receive a top safety pick, the vehicle must include a standard electronic stability control system and must successfully protect occupants inside the vehicle, involved in front, side and rear crashes as well as test rollover performance. The Civic received the highest-possible score of “Good” in all four categories, including the roof-strength test.
Discuss this story at 9thGenCivic.com
Nissan has had a successful year with the Nissan Juke, Cube, Leaf and Infiniti M37/56 on the list of 2011 top safety picks. Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2011 Nissan Juke a “Top Safety Pick” rating. The Juke earned this award by earning a “good” rating in front, rear and side impact protection, coupled with electronic stability control as well as good roof strength.
“Nissan’s commitment to safety and innovation is reflected in the Nissan Juke receiving the Top Safety Pick from IIHS,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “The Nissan Juke has a unique combination of motorsports-inspired design and unexpected levels of technology and safety features– all with a starting MSRP under $19,000.”
All 2011 Juke models come equipped with the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags as well as seat belt and occupant classification sensors. There are also roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection. There are also seat mounted driver and front passendger side-impact supplemental air bags and front-seat Active Head Restraints. Other standard equipment includes LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
Drum roll please! The 2011 Mazda 3 is the latest vehicle to make it as a Top Safety Pick, after earning the top rating of good for roof strength in rollover crashes, as well as for front, side, and rear crash protection.
The sedan/hatchback drove away with a Top Safety Pick in the small cars category. It’s the first Mazda to achieve this rating since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had changed its criteria, making it more difficult for vehicles to earn a good rating.
To rate the 4-door sedan and hatchback versions, the Mazda 3 had to go through two tests. The roof of the sedan withstood a force equal to 5.32 times the car’s weight, while the roof of the hatchback withstood a force equal to 5.09 times its weight. To earn a good rating in the IIHS test, vehicles must have a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or higher. The Mazda 3 also features electronic stability control (ESC), which comes standard on the 2011 model.
The award for the Mazda 3 only applies to those cars built after December 2010, as the automaker made changes to the roof structure to improve roof strength.
Another one makes the cut. Add the 2012 Volvo S60 to the list of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award winners. That means it earned good performance ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection. It also comes with standard electronic stability control (ESC), which is also needed to win this award.
It has been a few years since the S60 has picked up a Top Safety Pick. In previous years, the S60 sedan only earned good ratings in the Institute’s front and rear evaluations, but when it came to the side impact test, it was only rated acceptable (in previous models, they weren’t tested for roof strength in rollover crashes).
But that’s old news, and the good news is that the new model has made the grade when it came to testing side impact and roof strength tests. The IIHS found that the roof of the S60 withstood a force equal to 4.95 times the car’s weight. Right now, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight.
If you’re looking to feel safe of the roads, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the thumbs up to the 2011 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. These cars have driven away with the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick designations after achieving good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection.
When a vehicle wins a Top Safety Pick award, it means that it has been recognized by the IIHS as offering the best overall crash protection. These vehicles must also come standard with electronic stability control (ESC), an important crash-avoidance feature.
To win this award, Chrysler brought its safety game to the table and really improved the safety of the 2011 Charger. It’s interesting to note that the last generation of the Charger and 300 earned the second lowest rating of ‘marginal’ for side impact protection (and that’s including the head-protecting side curtain airbags installed in the cars). This also marks the first time these vehicles have been rated in the Institute’s roof strength test for rollover protection – and they passed with flying colors. The roof of the Charger withstood a force equal to 5.37 times the car’s weight (the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight).
You can bet that BMW is celebrating this win. The redesigned 2011 BMW 5 series just earned good ratings in all four safety evaluations, garnering it an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick status among large cars.
Adding to the accolades is the fact that this first 5 series ever to earn the Top Safety Pick award, not to mention that its also the first BMW to accomplish this feat since the Institute implemented a new rollover test requirement.
Vehicles that earn Top Safety Picks earn the highest ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control (standard on the BMW) 5 series.
The biggest improvement was made with the good rating for side impact protection – the previous generation 5 was rated only marginal in the same test. An IIHS side impact test represents a hit from an SUV or pickup.
[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]