• Aug 7, 2006


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just can't stop ramming large, bumper shaped projectiles into the newest vehicles for 2007. Today the IIHS released the results of it most recent tests and it looks like Toyota is well represented at the top and the Caliber has made impressive improvements over its predecessor, the Dodge Neon.

The Toyota Camry received the institute's highest rating for a side impact, receiving an "excellent" score mainly due to its standard side-curtain airbags that provide the best possible protection to its occupants in one of the most common crashes.

Also tested was the Neon-replacing Dodge Caliber, which handily beat out its elder for both front and side impacts. Whereas the Neon was one of the worst vehicles tested at the time, the Caliber, with its standard side-curtain airbags, was awarded a "marginal" designation, compared to the Neon that received "poor" scores throughout its lifetime.

Other vehicles tested include the new RAV4, Kia Optima, Lincoln Zephyr and Hyundai Tucson.

One aspect of the tests that deserves note is that all the manufactures did not perform as well on the rear-impact tests as the IIHS would like. Where front and side impacts are some of the more dwelt upon crashes, the IIHS contends that back and neck injuries caused by collisions from behind are becoming more of an issue and they would like to see automakers address this problem with more research and development.

Follow the link to read the full report.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the best triage possible is to have BOTH side torso and side curtain airbags. The Camry has traditionally been a safe vehicle, so no surprise to see it doing well in new tests. And the Caliber - how could it NOT do better than the Neon?

      What I find rather extraordinary is that the Caliber is built on a shared platform with the upcoming Mitsubishi Lancer, and a stiffened version of the platform will be used for the upcoming Evo!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I totalled a '02 Neon R/T (not the SRT) by fishtailing and spinning on the freeway. Hit the median concrete curb (the big kind) with back end, then front end, and also for a time was going backwards while driving sideways on the curb before it all was over.

      I had a lawnmower in the back seat that didn't move. The airbag did not deploy, which made me very happy, and I walked away with no injuries. Visible damage to the car did not look so bad, but the frame was bent enough to warrant the "total" call.

      I was pleased with the safety factor. I was not so pleased with the funky, front-drive weight induced handling that sent me skidding when I had to avoid another car. Oh well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Err #1...I don't know why you're particularly impressed with it's Marginal overall rating...

      I will admit that front-crash results are much improved over the Neon, and that's definitely a good thing, but an overall score of Marginal isn't exactly something to be celebrating lol
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM v. Toyota round 14
      • 8 Years Ago
      Toyota and all japanese car are very safety.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 2007 Camry got a MARGINAL for rear crash ratings but the Ford 500 scored a GOOD.
      • 8 Years Ago
      NEW CENTURY VALUE - The Corolla's outstanding leadership qualities shine in its sophisticated design and class-raising standards for comfort, performance and safety.The corolla's compelling styling comfortable cabin and contemporary functionality enhance the quality of your family's lifestyle every day.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I just read the test results for the Caliber and am impressed. Good side impact head protection, good in every category in the frontal offset test. The lack of a side torso air bag results in a single "poor" rating for the front seat on the side impact test, but from the description the torso injury (most likely rib fractures should be readily survivable). Surprisingly, the rear seat passennger had no torso injury issues, but probably this is due to the way the side crash test is set up in terms of point of impact.

      Kudos to Dodge for making side CURTAIN airbags standard on every car. It's such a joke that the whole side protection movement started with side TORSO airbags which offer so little in terms of additional survivability (it's all about the HEAD). Even VW and Honda started out with side torso, not curtain, airbags. Now Dodge (and Chevy, in the '07 Malibu for example) put in front and rear side curtain airbags, but no torso airbags - this is the best triage possible. I'd rather have front/rear side curtain airbags to protect my kids in the back any day.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It might have scored higher, if the trim pieces would quit falling off.