The Safest Small Cars of 2014
By: Good2GoPublished: March 10, 2014
At Good2Go, we’re all about safe driving. In fact, we’re developing a few safe driving discounts that will save even more money on your car insurance. So keep your eyes open as we roll out more savings.
But it takes more than a cautious driver to be safe on the road. You also need the right vehicle. That’s why the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its list of TOP SAFETY PICKS for 2014. This list rewards auto manufacturers who have reached high levels of protection and prevention in crashes. In this post, we’re highlighting the top small cars that made it onto the list.
The IIHS rates vehicles as “good,” “acceptable,” “marginal” or “poor” across five test categories:
- Small overlap frontal crash: Based on a 40 mph crash test in which 25 percent of the vehicle’s width strikes a rigid barrier.
- Moderate overlap frontal crash: Based on a 40 mph crash test in which 40 percent of the vehicle’s width strikes a deformable barrier.
- Side impact: Based on a crash test in which an SUV-like barrier strikes the driver side of the vehicle at 31 mph.
- Roof strength: Based on a test where a metal plate is pushed against one side of the vehicle’s roof at a slow, constant speed.
- Head restraints & seats: Based on a sled test of the vehicle’s seat and head restraint ability to reduce injuries to the neck and spine.
To receive the highest award of TOP SAFETY PICK+, vehicles must achieve good ratings in the five main categories and receive basic, advanced, or superior ratings in front crash prevention. This is based on auto-braking performance tests at 12 mph and 25 mph, as well as the availability of forward collision warning systems. Models that meet the five main crashworthiness criteria, but not the additional front crash prevention criteria, only qualify for a TOP SAFETY PICK award.
This year, fewer cars made it onto the winning list because the IIHS raised their standards of safety. Compared to last year’s list of 130 vehicles, only 39 vehicles earned the coveted award. According to IIHS President Adrian Lund, “We’ve made it more difficult for manufacturers this year… We also felt it was time to offer extra recognition to manufacturers that are offering a proven crash avoidance technology.”
So without further ado, here are the top safest small cars of 2014 that received the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+:
The Honda Civic features side airbags, electronic stability control, antilock brakes and daytime running lights. This vehicle received a “Good” rating in all safety categories as well as a “Basic” rating in front crash prevention. What’s notable about the Honda Civic is the addition of a forward collision warning system. This system warns the driver of an imminent collision or automatically takes control of the vehicle without any driver input (braking, steering or both).
Photo Credit: Bull-Doser via Wikimedia Commons
Mazda 3 models after October 2013 feature side airbags, a rollover sensor, electronic stability control, antilock brakes and daytime running lights. This car received a “Good” rating across all safety categories. But unlike the Honda Civic, the Mazda 3 received an “Advanced” rating in front crash prevention. Not only does this vehicle feature a forward collision warning system, it also has low-speed auto-braking, also known as Smart City Brake Support. In an IIHS test at 12 mph, this vehicle was able to slow down and avoid a collision.
Photo Credit: OSX via Wikipedia Commons
Widely known for its fuel efficiency, the Toyota Prius is also proving to be the car of choice when it comes to safety. Prius models after November 2013 now feature side airbags, a driver knee airbag, electronic stability control, and antilock brakes. Although the Prius only received an “Acceptable” rating in the small overlap front crash category, it received a “Good” rating in the remaining safety categories. More importantly, the Toyota Prius received an “Advanced” rating in front crash prevention. In addition to having a forward collision warning system, this small car has both low-speed and high-speed autobrakes.
Photo Credit: IFCAR via Wikipedia Commons
Small vehicles that received the TOP SAFETY PICK (no front crash prevention) include:
These small cars offer the high levels of safety and protection that every driver deserves. And while advanced safety collision features are becoming more standard, the IIHS may soon have to consider how well a vehicle prevents distracted driving, most notably texting while driving. Similar to side airbags and antilock brakes, text blocking devices should become the next standard of safety for vehicles in the future. If you’ve personally installed a text blocking device in your vehicle or the vehicle of a teen driver, find out how you can save on your car insurance premium with Good2Go’s Cell Phone Safety Discount.
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