The 2016 model-year Toyota Prius has qualified for the Top Safety Pick+ award — the top honor from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — after acing the challenging small overlap front crash test and other evaluations.
The optional front crash prevention system on the small hybrid car also improved to earn a “superior” rating, IIHS said.
To qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must draw “good” ratings in the IIHS small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint crash tests. Vehicles also need to have an available front crash prevention system that earns an “advanced” or “superior” rating.
(To view video footage of the small overlap front crash test, click on the photo or link below the headline.)
The previous generation of the Prius had “good” ratings in four of the five crashworthiness tests, but was rated only “acceptable” for small overlap protection. The earlier model’s structure didn't hold up well in the test, IIHS said.
“In contrast, the 2016 Prius had maximum intrusion of just 2 inches at the upper door-hinge pillar and at the brake and parking brake pedals,” IIHS said. “The dummy’s movement was well-controlled, and measures taken from the dummy showed a low risk of injury in a crash of the same severity.”
The optional front crash prevention system has improved over the “advanced”-rated system available on the previous model. The new Prius avoided collisions in both the 12 mph and 25 mph IIHS track tests, IIHS said. The system also has a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.