In its most recent round of vehicle testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested five two-door coupes. While all the vehicles tested were awarded with the Institute's "acceptable" rating, only two vehicles were granted its top honor, the Top Safety Pick award.
"Overall, the results for two-door cars are good news," said David Zuby, the Institute's senior vice president of vehicle research. "All but one earn good ratings in our frontal offset test. Only two of the five earn this rating for protection in side crashes, but none of the five earns anything less than an acceptable rating.
"This is pretty good, considering how demanding the side test is. It simulates beings struck by a pickup or SUV."
The Institute rates vehicles as "good," "acceptable," "marginal," or "poor," based on performance in front and side crash tests. A third test measures how well seats and head restraints protect against neck injuries.
The 2009 Ford Focus coupe actually fared better than its sedan cousin, earning a good rating in both the frontal and side crash tests, while the sedan received an acceptable rating for the Institute's side test. Because it earned good ratings in all categories, the IIHS gave the Focus coupe the Top Safety Pick award in the small car category. The Volvo C30, which also scored good ratings in all categories, is a Top Safety Pick in the midsize segment.
The test also included the Chevrolet Cobalt, Honda Civic, and Scion tC. The Chevrolet Cobalt coupe and Honda Civic coupe received the same scores (good ratings for the frontal and rear tests, acceptable for the side test), with the Chevy tying the scores of the four-door model and the Honda falling one level below the four-door version in the side test category. The Scion tC performed the "worst" of the bunch, earning acceptable ratings in the front and side tests and a marginal rating for the rear crash test.
Head on over the IIHS website for a full press release and individual vehicle test results.