Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released the results of their newest round of crash tests for the small car segment and announced that many of the compact models tested have made significant safety improvements for 2009. Overall, Detroit fared rather impressively, with the 2009 Ford Focus and the 2009 Chevrolet HHR taking home top marks for front and rear impact safety ratings. For side impact ratings, both the 2009 Focus and the 2009 HHR finished in second place, unseated by Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Matrix, and Suzuki SX4. In the super compact category, the 2009 Honda FiT with optional ESC managed to earn the distinction as the first mini car to receive a “Top Safety Pick” award from the IIHS.
Careful to clarify that the IIHS’ newest results in no way give the compact car segment a formal pardon, IIHS president Adrian Lund said, “Just because small cars are Top Safety Picks doesn’t make them as crashworthy as larger vehicles…Rather, it’s all the more important to choose a small car that rates highly for safety because you give up the protection of size and weight.”
Source: The Auto Channel