Two-Door Small Cars Get Good Marks in Crash Tests

WASHINGTON (AP) - Small in stature, a group of 2009 two-door
cars are providing good safety value to car shoppers, according to
crash tests released Tuesday.
The Ford Focus and Volvo C30 received top scores in front-end,
side and rear crash tests, according to tests from the Insurance
Institute for Highway Safety.
Two-door versions of the Chevrolet Cobalt and Honda Civic,
meanwhile, received top scores in front-end tests and the
second-highest rating in side tests. The Civic received the top
score in the rear test while the Cobalt has not yet been tested for
rear crash protection.
The Scion tC, which is manufactured by Toyota Motor Corp.,
received the second-highest score of acceptable in both the
front-end and side tests. It received the second-lowest rating of
marginal in the rear crash test.
The Institute decided to test the two-door cars because they are
frequently asked how the small vehicles perform in crash tests,
said David Zuby, the Institute's senior vice president for vehicle
research. He called the overall results "good news."
Zuby said all the vehicles tested were equipped with side air
bags that protect the motorist's head. He said the side test
results were strong, "considering how demanding the side test is.
It simulates being struck by a pickup or SUV."
The vehicles range in prices from $15,305 for the Honda Civic
Coupe to $23,800 for the Volvo C30.
The tC's structure held up well in the crash, but Zuby said the
forces recorded on the dummy indicated that a driver could suffer
an injury to the lower right leg. The tC is not equipped with
electronic stability control, which helps a driver avoid a rollover
crash.
Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman, said the tC was last redesigned
for the 2005 model year and Toyota has been installing stability
control and improved head rests in newly redesigned vehicles.
Toyota has not announced when it plans to upgrade the tC, he said.


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