Both cars just emerged from the new IIHS roof-crush (rollover) test with flying colors. In the test, the roof must support the equivalent of four times its curb weight. The current federal standard is just 1.5 times the vehicle weight.
The IIHS measures this not by actually rolling the vehicle over but by pressing a metal plate against one side of the roof, at a constant speed. Testers then look at the ratio of how much force it will withstand (until it deforms into headroom), relative to the total weight of the vehicle.
In the new round of tests, the roof of the 2010 Scion xB could withstand an impressive 6.8 times its weight—an indicator, along with the xB's already plentiful headroom, that the chances of traumatic neck or head injury might be lower in a rollover than other vehicles its size. For the 2010 Toyota Corolls, the test found that its roof could support an also-commendable 5.1 times its weight.
The two models have nothing but top 'good' ratings from the IIHS in frontal offset and side impact crash tests, as well as the seat-based rear impact tests.The Scion xB and Toyota Corolla do share some mechanical components, but they appeal to completely different types of shoppers. While the Toyota Corolla is pretty much the epitome of the affordable compact sedan, the xB has a special sort of breadbox appeal that's at once stylish and utilitarian. As John Voelcker reports in our Bottom Line on the 2010 Scion xB, its styling can be polarizing. Nevertheless, Voelcker says, "It provides good value for those on a budget, trendy or not."