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Economy cars, Prius score poorly in IIHS crash tests

In a series of crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently assessed how well the bumpers of 20 small car models would protect the vehicles from damage in low-speed collisions. The worst performers are the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Prius, and Volkswagen Rabbit, each sustaining about $4,000 damage or more in a single test. The Ford Focus performed the best, with about one-third that amount of damage in its worst test.
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Underride is a frequent cause of significant damage in the tests, just like in real-world crashes. For example, the front bumpers of the Rabbit and Honda Civic underrode the barrier in the front full-width test resulting in damage to their grilles, hoods, fenders, and air-conditioning condensers. Similarly, the Prius sustained nearly $4,000 damage in the rear full-width test because its bumper is mounted too low to be in position to protect the vehicle's tailgate, rear body panel, and taillights.

In the front corner test of the right side of the Prius, damage was much less, about $1,200, involving the fender and headlight. But had the test been conducted on the left side, the barrier would have crushed a coolant tank which costs more than $1,000 to replace, not including labor.
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A taillight costs $205 to replace on the Prius compared with just $65 on the Focus.
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To illustrate how small changes to bumper design can make a significant difference in repair costs, the Institute worked with Tech-Cor, the research division of Allstate Insurance, to modify the front bumper of the Prius. The reinforcement bar and foam absorber were extended another 10 inches on the passenger side under the headlight. When the Institute tested the Prius again, the headlight and fender were undamaged and the repair cost dropped from $1,200 to $254.

"There's plenty of room under the bumper covers of most cars to make this simple change," says Nolan.
 

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Ouch.
 

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The Focus did very well! Interestingly Toyota products got #2 and #3 in the tests. But it's a more sensational headline to have "Prius scores poorly"!

And you guys think the press hates the Big 3. They just want a story people will read, and (they think) it starts with a eye-catching headline. ;) How awesome of a news event would it have been had a Prius caught on fire?
 

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BTW, Chevrolet HHR is far 6th worst, and Cobalt 8th worst (Civic between the two). The Astra, "not designed to US specs" better the two, and all are easily beaten by the Caliber and Sentra :eek:

And AutoblogGreen or the PR person who wrote the press release kant spel "Volkswagen"
 

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Sweet mercy, Bravada cracked a joke (and a funny one at that)! Bye bye global warming: even hell is freezing over. :D
Oh he cracks jokes all the time...

and I have always liked the Avensis, with its flowing lines, recessed greenhouse (i.e. pronounced shoulder line) and more "baroque" decals.
I hate the idea, but the execution is surprisingly good. Perhaps the only way not to make it absolutely awfully goofy. The roof bars are needed to give a vehicle the "off-road" looks, just like black body cladding at the bottom.
 

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Whats the first GM car to show up, wait SUPRISE! Its the Astra :D

Unfortunately its at #8, I would have thought GM would have 1 higher than that.
 

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For some reason, though, the Astra is one of the cheapest to repair when hit at any of the corners, which I believe happens pretty often.
 

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But had the test been conducted on the left side, the barrier would have crushed a coolant tank which costs more than $1,000 to replace, not including labor.
Yikes!!! $1000 for a coolant tank? I thought my motorcycle parts were spendy. What does an engine cost?
 

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These tests are based solely on price right? Because I don't think the Focus actually got good scores elsewhere.
 

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Bravada is on a roll!!!:D
While "full frontals" and rear-endings do seem pretty obvious types of accidents, they are less likely than hitting other vehicle corner-to-corner. Rear-ending is fairly "easy" to accomplish, but it requires rather reckless driving. You are much more likely to go wrong in more complicated maneuvres, such as overtaking, left turns etc.

 

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For some reason, though, the Astra is one of the cheapest to repair when hit at any of the corners, which I believe happens pretty often.
This is an very important fact for German insurances. :D
 

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I didn't read the whole article, so I may be missing something, but what does that picture (of what appears to be a full-speed frontal test) have to do with low speed bumper testing?
 
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