2015 Kia Soul and Kia Forte Improve IIHS Safety Ratings
After lackluster crash-test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Kia has revised the 2015 Kia Soul and 2015 Kia Forte models to improve performance on the difficult small-overlap test. The 2015 Soul now qualifies as an IIHS Top Safety Pick thanks to its improved performance, although the 2015 Forte still falls short of this award.
The Kia Soul was previously rated "Poor" in the small-overlap test, but the modifications to the 2015 model bring the car's score in this test up to a "Good" rating. That means that the 2015 Kia Soul now qualifies as a Top Safety Pick, as it is rated "Good" in the IIHS' other moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. The Kia Soul does not offer any sort of frontal collision warning technology, meaning that it is not eligible for the IIHS' Top Safety Pick + award.
Kia made similar improvements to the 2015 Kia Forte compact sedan, but the changes did not make as much of an impact on the Forte's crash test scores. These same improvements recently helped the Kia Forte improve its NHTSA safety rating from four stars to five, but in the IIHS' more difficult tests, the upgrades only brought the Forte's small-overlap rating from "Poor" to "Marginal." To rate as a Top Safety Pick, vehicles must be rated "Good" in all other tests and at least "Acceptable" in the small-overlap test.
There's no word yet on whether Kia will make further structural upgrades to the Forte to improve its performance, but we wouldn't be surprised if a quick fix is already in the works given that nearly all of the Forte's compact competitors are rated Top Safety Pick, including the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, and Mazda 3.
Stay tuned for more news about the Kia Forte's safety ratings, and check out video of the crash tests below.