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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
The 2014 Scion iQ receives the rating rating of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for moderate-overlap front crash, side impact, and roof strength tests. Despite a unique rear-window curtain airbag, however, its rear crash protection is only deemed Acceptable. And it has not been rated on the IIHS's new small-impact front crash test.
As for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the government safety agency awards an overall rating to the iQ of four stars out of five. Frontal crash and rollover testing also earn four stars, but then for side impact, the iQ gets only three stars.
As with the Smart ForTwo several years ago, the iQ proves you can provide decent occupant crash protection in a very, very small car. The little Scion has no fewer than 11 airbags, however—including driver and front passenger knee bags, and that world-first rear-window bag to protect passengers' heads if hit from the (very truncated) rear.
Nonetheless, as bystanders often suggest, the laws of physics are inescapable. Hit by a vehicle twice as long and weighing three times as much, the Scion iQ and its occupants will likely be at a significant disadvantage.
The 2014 Scion iQ has good safety ratings, especially for a car its size--and it has 11 airbags.