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2016 Toyota Prius Named IIHS Top Safety Pick+

Take that, small front-overlap test.

Following an excellent performance in every single crash safety category of its test, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety awarded the 2016 Toyota Prius a Top Safety Pick+. The TSP+ designation recognizes the new Prius' available forward collision warning system, as well as its automatic emergency braking technology.

Compared to the outgoing hybrid, the 2016 Toyota Prius increased its Acceptable rating in the small front-overlap crash test to a Good rating. IIHS said it "aced" the notoriously difficult test, with Good ratings in every subcategory. The video footage backs up this claim, too. You can clearly see the 2016 Toyota Prius maintain the integrity of the passenger structure, despite the fact that the entire front end of the vehicle is practically destroyed and the tire is sheared clear off the wheel. The airbags all deployed at the proper time, and protected the driver from impacting any part of the interior.

The 2016 Toyota Prius also nailed the moderate front-overlap test, but earned its only Acceptable ratings in two subcategories of the side crash test. The Prius' overall rating for side impact is Good, but specifically on torso and pelvis/leg protection for the driver it is rated Acceptable.

A major part of the Prius' improvement is its new Toyota New Global Architecture, which is about 60 percent stiffer than before and has a stronger front crash structure.

The 2016 Toyota Prius gets a Superior rating for front crash prevention, up from its old Advanced rating. The difference is that the Prius this time automatically stopped at both 12 mph and 25 mph to avoid a crash.

IIHS will still have to test the new 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid before it goes on sale late this fall.