Gas savings over safety?

Gas savings over safety?

According to a 2012 Consumer Reports study, 37 percent of respondents cited “fuel economy” as the most important consideration when buying a car. Quality was a distant second at 17 percent and safety was listed by 16 percent as their most important attribute.

We’d counsel that if a new car is in your plans for 2014, vehicle safety ought to be at the top of your list to protect you and your passengers. Is saving a few bucks on gas worth more than risking a trip to the emergency room, an extended hospital stay or a lifetime disability?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) publishes the results of their crash tests for 12 categories of passenger vehicles. According to their web site, they assign vehicles one of four impact ratings:”good,” “acceptable,” “marginal” or “poor” across five test categories: moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact, rollover and rear impact. You can find how your desired make and model performed by visiting their web site.

In addition, their web site offers both photos and crash test videos to illustrate their findings. And the most recent winners are….

Minicars earning the IIHS Top Safety Pick (TSP) designation received “good” ratings in four tests

  • 2013 Fiat 500
  • 2014 Ford Fiesta
  • 2013 Honda Fit
  • 2013 Nissan Versa Sedan
  • 2013 Toyota Prius C
  • 2013 Toyota Yaris 4-Door

No Minicars earned the IIHS TSP+ designation which requires vehicles to receive good ratings in at least 4 of 5 tests and no less than acceptable in the fifth test.

In the Small Car category, 8 vehicles attained TSP+ ratings.

  • Dodge Dart
  • Ford Focus 4-door

2013-14 Applies only to sedan/hatchback models.

  • Honda Civic 2-door
  • Honda Civic 4-door
  • Hyundai Elantra (Applies only to sedan models)
  • 2014 Scion tC (Does not apply to WRX models)
  • 2014 Subaru Impreza (Does not apply to WRX models)
  • 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Large pickup trucks earning the TSP designation were limited to three by the IIHS and none earned the top TSP+ designation;

  • 2013 Ford F-150
  • 2013 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2013 Toyota Tundra crew cab

Other categories to explore include

  • Midsize moderately priced cars
  • Midsize luxury/near luxury cars
  • Large family cars
  • Large luxury cars
  • Small SUVs
  • Midsize SUVs
  • Midsize luxury SUVs
  • Large SUVs
  • Minivans

Checking the IIHS web site and doing your homework can save you, literally and figuratively, from the most costly of outcomes following an accident.

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