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Chevy Spark Only Minicar to Pass IIHS Test

2014 Chevy Spark2014 Chevy Spark
IIHS Minicar Safety ResultsIIHS Minicar Safety Results

Minicars may be affordable and get great gas mileage, making them attractive options for students, commuters, and people with limited incomes, but they fare poorly in IIHS safety tests. In the recent “small overlap front crash test”, out of eleven minicars tested, only the Chevrolet Spark received an acceptable rating in the test, earning it the designation of 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK.

The small overlap test is intended to replicate what happens when the corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or object. For the test, 25% of the vehicle's driver's side front end collides with a rigid barrier at 40 mph. In most of the minicars the structure collapsed during the test. The Spark and the Mazda 2 both passed the restraint and kinematics portion of the test while the other 9 autos failed. In these vehicles either the seatbelt didn’t properly curtail driver movement or the airbag failed to prevent damage to the head.

The Honda Fit and Fiat 500 scored the lowest ratings on the test with the occupant compartment getting crushed and the steering column getting pushed in. In the Fiat the driver’s door came open during the crash and in the Honda Fit, the dummy’s head struck the instrument panel. While most of the vehicles expose the driver to injury risks on the lower left leg, the FIT and 500 also added a risk of injury to the left thigh and hip as well as the right leg.

By contrast the Chevy Spark offered much better motion control on the dummy via the restraint system and injury measures were low to all parts of the body. The IIHS does point out that no minicar offers full front crash protection and that vehicles weighing less than 2,500 pounds are inherently going to offer less protection than larger, heavier vehicles.

For the complete listing of IIHS Safety ratings on all of the minicars tested, click here.  When you want to find a great deal and start shopping for a new vehicle, let AutoBuying101.com help you get the best deal and find the auto that’s right for you.