Not sure which small car model is best for you? If safety is one of your criteria you should check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ratings. “The IIHS does a good job of testing the safety of passengers under the most frequent crash conditions,” explains Steve Brown, of Brown Motors.
The 2013 Dodge Dart and 2012-14 Ford Focus 4-door (sedan & hatchback) both earned the TOP SAFETY PICK+ (TSP+) safety awards. To earn the TSP+ a vehicle must receive good ratings in al least 4 of 5 test and no less than acceptable in the fifth test.
The 2013-14 Ford Fiesta earned a Top Safety Pick (TSP) rating for both the sedan and hatchback models. To earn TSP vehicles must receive good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their ratings in the small overlap front test.
Thanks to these test results, which you can study for yourself at the IIHS, we have another meaningful differentiator of what could make one car significantly safer than another. And among small cars—based on what we see—it’s likely that there’s a surprisingly wide range in protection.