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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset, side and rear impacts, roof strength; Top Safety Pick
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The Insight extends the rear glass into the top of the trunk lid to improve visibility, but it doesn't work. A thick bar splitting the rear window limits the view in the rearview mirror.
The 2012 Honda Insight has all the bases covered for safety features, and it gets decent safety ratings, though not the top of the heap on all counts.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2012 Insight its top rating of 'Good' in frontal offset, side, and rear impacts, and also for roof strength. That latter rating is an improvement on 2010-2011 Insight models, which were rated on 'Acceptable' on roof crush strength. As a result, the 2012 Insight is an IIHS Top Safety Pick--as is the larger 2012 Toyota Prius, if you're keeping score.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not rated the 2012 Insight using its new and more stringent frontal crash and side crash tests, so the Insight doesn't get an Overall safety rating from the agency. For rollover, it's rated at four out of five stars.
The 2012 Insight provides all the expected safety features. The list includes front, side, and side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and active front head restraints. The car also offers decent outward visibility, helped by its low window line and the Prius-like additional vertical glass panel in the tailgate for rearward vision. For 2012, Honda redesigned and moved the rear window wiper to improve visibility as well.
The 2012 Honda Insight regains its IIHS Top Safety Pick rating, but hasn't been tested by the NHTSA; it includes the expected list of safety features and airbags.