Insurance News

Smaller Cars Earn Top Marks in Safety Tests

Posted on: June 3, 2009

A study of car safety released on Wednesday shows that four of the top-scoring automobiles in tests of five new models were small cars or so-called super-minis — including the Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, Kia Soul and Peugeot 3008.

The study, conducted by Euro N.C.A.P., a group that campaigns for automobile safety, was backed by European governments and motoring and consumer organizations. The results, the study’s authors said, show that in “these economically challenging times, consumers who wish to downsize their cars can still place safety at the top of their wish list.”

Seats installed in the Kia Soul, for example, “achieved a good result in the program’s whiplash testing, again revealing that it is not only larger or expensive cars that achieve impressive results in safety.”

(A video of N.C.A.P.’s crash test for the Kia Soul is above.)

Euro N.C.A.P. said its study was based on all-round safety performance criteria, including pedestrian protection — a collection of design features aimed at minimizing injuries in the event a pedestrian is struck by the car. It said the Honda Jazz and Hyundai i20 racked up “impressive pedestrian scores” that met both present and future requirements.

The fifth car to earn top safety marks was the Audi Q5, a compact crossover nearly the size of an S.U.V.

Copyright 2009The New York Times Company

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