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Majority Of Subcompact Cars Fail New Crash Test

In a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, only one of 11 subcompact cars — the Chevy Spark — received a passing grade.
Posted at 2:46 PM, Jan 22, 2014

If you're thinking about downsizing your car, you may want to reconsider. 

According to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, micro- or subcompact cars were the "worst performing group of any evaluated so far." Of the 11 cars tested, the Chevy Spark was the only car to receive an "acceptable" rating from the institute. 

The cars were put through the institute's new small overlap front crash test.

"That's a test in which a car going 40 mph hits a barrier with just the outside portion of its front bumper. It replicates a kind of real-world crash that causes a lot of serious injuries every year." (Via CNN)

Most of the cars — including the Honda Fit and the ultra-trendy Fiat 500 — received a "poor" rating. Four cars, including the Toyota Yaris, were deemed "marginal." None of the cars received the institute's top rating of "good."

These results seem even worse when compared to cars just slightly bigger. More than half of the 17 cars from the "small" category received "good" or "acceptable" ratings.

The small overlap front crash test was introduced in 2012. It has even given larger vehicles trouble. Toyota was forced to make changes to the Camry's front end to restore its "Top Safety Pick" label. (Via Toyota)

Honda unveiled a new version of the Fit at the Detroit Auto Show. The car is set for release in the spring, and the company expects it to receive a "good" rating.