The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its latest crash test findings, this time for a handful of compact cars. Of the vehicles tested, the 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 Ford Focus, 2013 Honda Civic, 2013 Hyundai Elantra, and 2014 Scion tC all scored well enough to earn the Top Safety Pick + rating.
Only the 2013 Honda Civic – in both coupe and sedan forms – scored an overall score of "Good" in the IIHS' testing. The top score also includes a rating of "Good" in the new small overlap front crash test. The Civic was the only model named as a Top Safety Pick + to get the top score in the new test; other vehicles all earned "Acceptable" ratings.
Thanks to the less-than-perfect rating in the small overlap front crash test, the 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 Ford Focus, 2013 Hyundai Elantra, and 2014 Scion tC all received overall crash-test scores of "Average," but will still be given the Top Safety Pick + rating. The IIHS requires a Top Safety Pick + vehicle to earn "Good" ratings in four out of its five crash tests and either "Good" or "Acceptable" in the new offset test. The IIHS also praised the Elantra, Civic, and tC for side curtain airbags that "sufficient forward coverage."
Of the remaining compact cars tested, three of them received overall ratings of "Marginal" – the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic, the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, and the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle – while three cars got "Poor" overall ratings – the 2013 Nissan Sentra, the 2013 Kia Soul, and the 2014 Kia Forte. The IIHS has found in its testing that many of the low-rated vehicles had issues with airbags either not deploying in offset collisions, airbags not giving enough coverage if they did deploy, or the occupant moving too far offset for the airbag to be of much use. The Forte and the Beetle were both called out by the Institute for having such issues during the testing. Cars like the Sonic and other "Marginal"-rated vehicles had issues with the timing of airbags deploying – the bags inflated after the dummy had already moved.
With the addition of these five new Top Safety Pick + models, Dodge now has two TSP+ vehicles (Dart and Avenger), Ford has two (Focus and Fusion), Honda has two (Civic and Accord, both in coupe and sedan versions), Hyundai has one (Elantra), and Scion has one (tC).