No Pony Cars Awarded as a Top Safety Pick

Jodi Lai
by Jodi Lai

The iconic trio of muscle cars has been subjected to crash tests and the results aren’t ideal.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has evaluated the 2016 Dodge Challenger, 2016 Ford Mustang and 2016 Chevrolet Camaro for their crashworthiness and none of them were able to get a Top Safety Pick designation. The agency typically doesn’t test sports cars, but it tested these three models with V8 engines because they are higher volume sellers in their class.

The results show that the Challenger is in need of the most improvement, while the Mustang came the closest to getting the coveted Top Safety Pick award, and the Camaro fell short in one category.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: 10 Things You Learn While Driving the Beast

To get the Top Safety Pick designation, cars must get good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests as well as some sort of basic front collision avoidance system (like a warning system). To get the Top Safety Pick+ designation, the car must get a good rating in all five tests and have an advance crash mitigation system (like automatic emergency braking).

All three pony cars earned good ratings for the occupant protection, side impact and moderate overlap front crash. In the newest and toughest test, the small overlap front test that simulates when a car hits a tree or pole or clips an oncoming car, the Camaro earned a good rating, the Mustang was acceptable and the Challenger got a marginal rating.

See how the trio scored in each test below:

Jodi Lai
Jodi Lai

Jodi has been obsessed with cars since she was little and has been an automotive journalist for the past 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and a jury member for the prestigious North American Car/Truck/Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY). Besides hosting videos, and writing news, reviews and features, Jodi is the Editor-in-Chief of and takes care of the site's day-to-day operations.

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  • CCE CCE on May 24, 2016

    Chryslerfan, not sure how old you are, but back in "the days" - Camaros, Cudas, Challengers, Mustangs, AMX's, etc. were in a size class referred to as Pony Cars. So today's Challenger, Mustang, & Camaros are indeed Pony cars. Noe: they are well engineered, & they are not really cheap & crap. Go dream about your Toyotas & Hondas in some other import forum.

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    • Noe Japan Noe Japan on May 26, 2016

      LOL Toyota and Honda. I wouldn't compare them with Pony cars however .... Toyota and Honda may be efficient and safe but with massive doses of bland and boring added in I suppose though, as the british would put it, that indeed the Pony cars referred to in this article are Pony. The reputation outside of USA is dreadful My penchant, as would be clear from my message history, is european and british supercars ...... i have driven vipers, mustang, shelby and a saleen here in Japan but i don't like them. Of the Usa powered vehicles though the Ford Raptor is pretty good. Enjoy the difference of opinions

  • Soakee Soakee on May 25, 2016

    Does anyone buy any of these cars and (even remotely) consider the safety rating?