Small cars from Subaru, Kia are flops in new crash test

Some small cars have come up short in a tough new crash test.

Subaru’s Crosstrek and Impreza models, along with the Kia Forte, got poor ratings in an updated side crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The poor ratings mean that “either the structure did not hold up well and there was significant intrusion, or there was a likelihood of injury to the head or the torso or the pelvis region of the dummies that we used in the test,” IIHS president David Harkey told WTOP.



The new test slams a heavier, faster-moving barrier into the cars and is meant to better reflect real-world crashes.

Still, several other small cars did better, with Mazda 3 models getting the group’s best rating of good.

Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla models got the group’s second-best rating of acceptable in the updated side test.

All of the small cars tested had earned good ratings in the original side test.

“They are still very safe vehicles,” Harkey said. “What we’re trying to do is to create this new test for the next generation of vehicles.”

He added, “If consumers want to wait, I suspect that you will see (automakers) respond to this result and improve their vehicles in the next year or two.”

The new side test has also been applied to small SUVs, mid-size SUVs and mid-size cars, with some notably struggling with the new standard.

New side tests on pickup trucks will come out in the coming weeks, Harkey said.

Subaru’s Crosstrek and Impreza models, along with the Kia Forte, got poor ratings in an updated side crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (Courtesy Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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