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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Four stars, front impact protection; five stars, front side impact protection; four stars, rear side impact protection
Good, frontal offset test; good, side-impact test
Stability control is a package option
Cars bearing the Toyota badge up front have long sported above-average safety ratings, and the 2008 Toyota Prius is no exception.
TheCarConnection.com research shows that in independent crash tests, the 2008 Toyota Prius performed admirably, especially for a car of its size. The body held up well in both front- and side-impact tests, receiving four stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for front impacts and four and five star ratings for side impacts. The 2008 Toyota Prius also scored 4 out of 5 stars in the NHTSA rollover test. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Toyota Prius received the highest rating of "good' in both frontal offset and side-impact tests.
Beginning with the standard features list, it's clear that Toyota's 2008 Prius was designed to keep its environmentally friendly occupants safe. Edmunds points out that "every 2008 Toyota Prius comes standard with antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags." Mother Proof also appreciates the two child seat LATCH connectors and the "hands-free operation" of the Toyota Prius's navigation system. Rounding out the safety features list is a convenient tire-pressure monitor that assists with both safety and fuel efficiency.
On the highway, Toyota Prius drivers will appreciate what Edmunds calls the Prius's "excellent visibility." While running errands around town, Edmunds also says that the "available rearview camera [makes] it easy to park and maneuver through traffic." However, some reviewers disagree, with ConsumerGuide saying that "front and rear roof pillars impede visibility to some angles," and Cars.com adding that "a solid bar across the back glass impairs rearward visibility" on Toyota's 2008 Prius.
While you're saving the environment in your Toyota 2008 Prius, you can take comfort in knowing that the car will do an admirable job of saving you during an accident.