The fourth generation of the Toyota Prius has only been on sale for a few months. Yet with the release this week of federal crash-test results, and of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) test results just last week, we now have a pretty good picture of the safety of this new model—and it’s looking very good for those concerned about occupant protection. .
The 2016 Toyota Prius, which earns the best fuel economy rating for the U.S. market among all models without charging capability (up to 58 mpg city, 53 highway), gets not only a five-star rating in the federal New Car Assessment Program, but also a place on the Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) list from the IIHS.
It’s likely that Prius crash-test ratings won’t extend to the new 2017 Prius Prime plug-in. Due to its bigger, heavier battery pack and different weight distribution, that model will need to be tested separately at some point in the future.
The Prius has been given a five-star overall score from the federal government—although looking deeper into the scores, they aren’t exactly top-notch. It earns four our of five stars in the frontal crash category (including male-size driver and female-size passenger subcategories), and just two out of five stars in the side pole test, which simulates a low-speed side impact with a utility pole or tree.
In IIHS testing, the Prius does very well, achieving top “good” results in every category of testing, including “good” results in nearly every subcategory—even the typically tougher small overlap frontal impact test.
The Prius also gets a strong rating for the performance of its front crash prevention system, when equipped with the pre-collision system that’s part of the Advanced Technology Package—a $1,935 option on the Prius Three and Prius Four models, including pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, a head-up display, automatic high beams, and a power moonroof.
As such, the entry cost for a Prius Three with autonomous emergency braking—now encouraged by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and mandatory for achieving IIHS TSP+ status—is $27,145.