The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has given two redesigned subcompact cars, the 2018 Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, a good rating after they were put through its rigorous driver-side small overlap front crash test. The institute classifies them as minicars.
The Rio and the Accent have come a long way since 2013 when they earned a marginal and poor rating, respectively, in the same test.
Five years ago, during the driver-side small overlap front test, both vehicles experienced high levels of intrusion into the driver's space and the driver dummy's movement was not well controlled, according to the institute.
However, the redesigned 2018 models performed significantly better in their tests. The 2018 models of both vehicles are built on the same platform as previous generations, but durability factors made a difference. With both cars, the structure held up well, and the safety belt and airbags functioned effectively in controlling the dummy's movement.
Moreover, both 2018 subcompact cars garnered an acceptable rating for protection in IIHS' passenger-side small overlap front crash. IIHS notes that the lower rating was given due to the fact that the front airbag did not work as efficiently as it did in the driver-side test. In fact, the dummy's head barely contacted the airbag before sliding off to the right, leaving it susceptible to colliding with the forward structure.
The cars also feature a newly available front crash prevention system that captured a superior rating. However, neither car is eligible for the IIHS' Top Safety Pick honor because their headlights earn a poor rating due to inadequate visibility.