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2011 Honda CR-Z, Kia Soul, Mazda3: Not Quite Five-Star Safety

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2011 Honda CR-Z

2011 Honda CR-Z

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2011 Mazda3

2011 Mazda3

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As part of the latest round of crash-test results released by the federal government last week, two small-car models—the 2011 Kia Soul and 2011 Mazda3—earned a four-star rating overall, while the new Honda CR-Z hybrid received a three-star score.

In the new federal frontal barrier test, the 2011 Kia Soul was tested and rated at four stars, while it earned an excellent five-star rating overall in the NHTSA side barrier test and five stars in the new side pole test, which is designed to measure the chances of bodily injury in a side collision with a tree or pole.

With top 'good' ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in all of its test categories, the Soul is also a Top Safety Pick for 2011—which, thus far, makes the 2011 Kia Soul one of the highest-rated small cars overall for safety.

The 2011 Mazda3 earned a four-star Overall Rating, but its two-star side rating is concerning. With the exception of the driver's side barrier test, the Mazda Mazda3 had dismal outcomes in the new federal tests, with just two stars with a female-size passenger in the rear seat and three stars in the new side pole test. In the passenger side test, NHTSA indicated that the interior door panel struck the rear passenger dummy so hard that there would have likely been spinal injury.

The sporty-looking Honda CR-Z hybrid two-seater earned three stars overall in federal testing. In the frontal test, the CR-Z earned just three stars (with only two stars for the smaller female passenger), and in the side barrier test it got three stars. Although the new side pole test is not considered in the new ratings system, the CR-Z excelled here, with a top five-star rating.

The Mazda3 has earned top 'good' ratings in frontal and side test categories from the IIHS, but the agency hasn't yet tested it in the new roof strength category; the Honda CR-Z hasn't been tested by the IIHS yet.

Among other small cars, the 2011 Nissan Sentra was also given a NHTSA four-star score overall, with three stars in both frontal crash and side crash categories.

As part of a revised safety ratings program, NHTSA plans to test 55 vehicles for the 2011 model year, and a number of results haven't yet been released.

[SaferCar.gov]

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Comments (3)
  1. Are all these tests equally important? It seems everybody is now scoring great on the older crash tests, and now focus is moving toward more rare events such as crashing against a tree moving sideways.
     
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  2. Lets face it, the automakers are all out to kill us off, deliberately making death trap cars, hoping that they will be the last to go.... Not!
    The article hardly mentions the fact that most of these cars were designed long before the current safety tests were available
     
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  3. I wonder how Honda will approach their claim to safety after this release? (Inside humor here) It seems the Koreans are pulling ahead of the auto game in every category when it comes to compact bang for the buck; including safety beyond other of its size. Very Impressive....
    I was car shock in 2009 when I researching for a safe compact vehicle for my two teenage daughters to drive to and from High School while living here in dangerous Southern California (where more than 25 percent of the local drivers should have their license revoke for life) when drove the last remaining compact Kia (Rondo) which has 10-airbags. I looked at the Honda and Toyota laugh at the claim safety.
    I can only imagine what the Koreans will bring to the auto table in the next five years versus what the Japanese?
     
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