They're both best-car-of-the-year winners, they're both available for purchase--for those with patience at least. And today the 2011 Chevy Volt and the 2011 Nissan Leaf are the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest Top Safety Pick winners.
The IIHS says both the Volt and the Leaf ace its crash tests, which can be more difficult to pass than those from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)--with the added requirement that vehicles have stability control and meet new roof-crush guidelines this year.
Joe Nolan, the IIHS' chief administrative officer, said in a release that “what powers the wheels is different, but the level of safety for the Volt and Leaf is as high as any of our other top crash test performers.” That's in direct opposition to the results of crash tests with the GEM neighborhood EV, and the Wheego Whip, both of which led the IIHS to predict severe injuries by occupants inside those vehicles, in the case of an accident.
2011 Nissan Leaf in IIHS crash test