Europe’s major crash-test organization just last week released some results that should be of interest to U.S. small-car shoppers.
Two of TheCarConnection.com’s top choices—the 2010 Kia Soul and the 2009 Honda Fit (called Jazz in other markets)—were among the first vehicles to be tested and rated under a revised system that produces a single weighted score combining adult protection, child protection, pedestrian protection, and Safety Assist (a measure of the level of safety equipment). The Soul earned scores of 87, 86, 39, and 86 percent, respectively, while the Fit (Jazz) got 78, 79, 60, and 71 percent.
2009 Honda FitEnlarge Photo
In Europe, as in the U.S., the Jazz offers Honda’s VSA stability control system plus front side airbags, full-length side-curtain bags, and active headrests in front. Pedestrian-protecting measures include windshield wiper mounts that break away on impact and energy-absorbing hood hinges. However the Jazz gets a different nose and rear fascia.
The scores are especially meaningful for the 2010 Kia Soul, which hasn’t yet been crash-tested in the U.S. The Fit already gets top ‘Good’ scores in every category from the IIHS, and it’s one of their Top Safety Pick with available VSA, while the Fit earns five-star scores in frontal and side impact, with a four-star side score for rear passengers.
With the new system, both of these vehicles get a five-star NCAP rating, which, the group cautions, should only be compared to other vehicles of similar size and weight.
Let’s hope these results for the Kia Soul are a prelude for top U.S. scores as well; and in case you had any doubts about the Honda Fit being the all-around safest of the subcompacts, Honda’s incredibly space-efficient hatch has yet another accolade.