Crash Tests of Volvo & Ford Coupes Earn Top Safety Pick VIDEO ENHANCED


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All 5 Cars Tested Rated Good or Acceptable in Demanding Side Test


NEW YORK - July 20, 2009: Crash tests demonstrate that occupant protection in all kinds of vehicles is improving. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety doesn't routinely test vehicles in every size/type category. Emphasizing vehicles for family use, the Institute usually crash tests 4-door models. To evaluate the extent to which automakers are extending crashworthiness improvements to 2-door cars, the Institute recently conducted front, side, and rear tests of 2009 coupes including the Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Scion tC, all small models, plus the midsize Volvo C30.


Click PLAY to watch extensive crash results video

"We're often asked about the crash test performance of 2-door cars," says David Zuby, Institute senior vice president for vehicle research. "Design and structural differences mean we can't automatically apply our test results of 4-door cars to 2-door versions of the same models. We decided to do these tests to see how the 2-doors stack up in protecting people in the 3 most common kinds of crashes."

The Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in front and side crash tests. The third test measures how well vehicle seats and head restraints protect people against neck injury in low-speed rear crashes.

"Overall the results for 2-door cars are good news," Zuby says. "All but one earn good ratings in our frontal offset test. Only 2 of the 5 earn this rating for protection in side crashes, but none of the 5 earns anything less than an acceptable rating. This is pretty good, considering how demanding the side test is. It simulates being struck by a pickup or SUV."

Focus and C30 are best in group of 5: Earning good ratings in all 3 of the Institute's tests and equipped with optional electronic stability control, the Focus qualifies as a 2009 TOP SAFETY PICK among small cars. Also earning this award is the midsize Volvo C30. Seven small cars and 10 midsize moderately priced models now earn the award, the Institute's top safety designation. The list of winners makes it easier for consumers to zero in on vehicles in each class that afford the best overall crash protection.


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