Insurance Institute Adds Three Cars to Top Safety Picks

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently added three cars to its Top Safety Picks, naming the 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco, 2012 Hyundai Azera and 2012 Toyota Prius C as exceptionally safe vehicles for drivers.

All three received the highest-possible “good” rating overall. The kind of car you drive plays a major part in how much it costs to insure, and the top rated auto insurance companies look kindly on cars deemed safe for drivers if they prove it over time through claims data. Better safety features are more than just live-saving—they can mean the crash-related insurance claims you file are cheaper because of less severe injuries.

2012 Azera

The Azera redesign in 2012 was based on the Hyundai Sonata, but IIHS also crash-tested 2006-11 models that replaced the Hyundai XG350 in 2006. The 2012 Azera received overall “good” ratings in both frontal and side-impact crash tests, with “good” grades in every category, including structure/safety cage and head/neck protection.

Azera 2006-11 models got an overall “good” rating for frontal crash tests but an “acceptable” rating in side impact tests.

During frontal examinations, the head of the crash test dummy struck the roof rail and “forces on the right tibia indicate that injuries to the lower leg would be possible.”

Side impact examinations of the 2006-11 Azera model revealed that driver protection was lacking in the torso and pelvis/leg area. Crash tests showed that “a fracture of the pelvis would be likely in a crash” and “rib fractures would also be possible.” The vehicle received the lowest-possible “poor” rating in pelvis/leg protection.

2012 Prius C

The Prius C was introduced in 2012 as a design based on the Toyota Yaris. IIHS gave the vehicle the highest-possible overall marks in both side-impact and frontal crash tests. Those crash tests found that head injuries might be possible because a “high head acceleration occurred when the dummy’s head hit the steering wheel through the frontal airbag.” The Prius C received an “acceptable” rating for the safety of its structure/safety cage.

All three models scored “good” overall ratings in rollover crash tests that determine roof strength.

2013 Malibu Eco

The 2013 Malibu Eco, a redesigned model available as only as a hybrid car, registered “good” ratings on frontal and side impact crash tests. IIHS noted an “acceptable” rating, the second-best grade, for protecting the driver’s torso area. In tests from the institute and General Motors, “measures taken from the dummy indicate that rib fractures would be possible,” according to IIHS.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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