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Chevy Volt Earns Top Safety Pick in Recent Tests

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July 31, 2014—The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released the results for the latest 12 cars in its small overlap front crash test, and only one received the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick Plus award: the Chevy Volt.

The test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle hits another vehicle or an object, like a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side hits a barrier at 40 mph.

Out of the seven categories analyzed, the Volt rated acceptable in three categories and good in four.

The Mini Cooper Countryman ranked higher in some categories, securing six good ratings and just one acceptable rating. The Countryman received a Top Safety Pick award, one level down from the Volt’s “Plus” standard.

What pushed the the Volt ahead of the Countryman in the end? The car was the only vehicle tested in the group to have a forward collision warning system.

"Consumers in the market for a small car now have six models to consider on our list of 2014 Top Safety Pick Plus award winners, and an additional 13 that earn Top Safety Pick," Joe Nolan, IIHS senior vice president for vehicle research, said in the report. "Consumers trading the inherent safety of a larger vehicle for the convenience or fuel economy of a small car should focus their search on these vehicles with state-of-the-art safety designs."

To qualify for a Top Safety Pick Plus rank, a vehicle should earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection, a good rating in the IIHS's other four tests, and a basic, advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick rank, a vehicle needs to earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection and a good rating in the other four tests.

Of the cars tested in this round, the Mazda 5 was the worst performing.

"When we tested the Mazda 5 we saw a host of structural and restraint system problems. Parts of the occupant compartment essentially buckled, allowing way too much intrusion," Nolan said.

To reveiw the Institute’s full report, click here

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