The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has announced the five vehicles awarded with its Top Safety Picks+ designation. The awards are based on each vehicle's performance in crash tests, with the goal being to encourage safer vehicles. This has been successful, with the Institute stating that some automakers have made changes to their vehicles in order to perform better on the tests.
The five awarded vehicles are comprised of Honda's 2-door and 4-door Civic, Volvo's XC60, Ford's Lincoln MKZ, and the Mazda6. All but the Mazda6 are 2013 models, with the Mazda6 being the 2014 model. The Institute's crash test put a quarter of each vehicle's front end into a 5-foot barrier at a speed of 40mph.
Other tests include rear, rollover, and side tests, as well as one designed to see how the car holds up when the front corner is crashed into a pole or car. The latter is known as the "small overlap test," with vehicle's being rated with either a "good" or "acceptable" rating, which is then factored into the ratings of the other tests.
Honda's Civic stood out among the winners, being the first small car to be bestowed with the Top Safety Pick+ award. The car underwent "significant" changes and upgrades to its front end in order to improve its rating on the small overlap test. In addition, Volvo also made changes to score better on that test, updating its airbag algorithm so the side curtain airbag would be triggered by the impact.
[via Detroit News]