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IIHS Crash Tests Downgrade Subcompacts

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its most recent crash-test ratings but did not endorse any models evaluated. Instead, said institute urged auto consumers to stick with bigger, heavier vehicles because they typically are safer for motorists. IIHS real-life crash results also revealed that subcompacts are not the best safety choice. This information was divulged by Adrian Lund, president of IIHS

Subcompacts are the smallest vehicles on the road these days. The recorded crash rates involving subcompacts are higher than in other auto category. As a fact, the rates are more than twice the death rates for midsize and large vehicles.

IIHS evaluated a total of 9 cars weighing 2,500 pounds or less. Said cars are smaller than Honda Civic compact. This is because body parts for Honda Civic are made heavier and tougher. Crash ratings of the cars ranges from good, followed by acceptable, marginal and poor.

Among the nine subcompacts Nissan Versa rates the highest in 3 crash-test categories named front, side and rear. Nissan OEM body parts are engineered to stand the complexities of driving. Next to Versa is Toyota Yaris. The latter gets good in both front and side crash tests and marginal in the rear crash test. Toyota auto body parts are also meticulously assembled to ensure safety of the car occupants.

The worst performers in the IIHS crash-tests are Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. Said cars earned acceptable rating in the front crash test but poor in the side and rear tests. "Hyundai is targeting July production to add the Accent to its list of vehicles equipped with active head restraints," said Miles Johnson Hyundai spokesman. The rear crash-test rating is based on headrest criteria.

It was found out that the vehicles that were given high ratings were equipped with side air bags and head-protection systems. "Larger cars provide more protection, even slightly larger, and they get almost as good gas mileage," Lund noted. "Some of the midsize cars like the Accord and the Camry, if you get them in the four-cylinder versions, have as good a gas mileage as the mini cars. If you really want to save fuel, buy a larger car that's less powerful than a smaller lightweight vehicle that also sacrifices your safety."

About the Author: Tracy is a 29 year old researcher and writer from Dallas, Texas with extensive experience in writing auto-related articles and covering automotive related events. She is currently a contributing writer for a leading automotive e-zine.

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