Reminding us once again that there's more than meets the eye when shopping for a vehicle are recent impact tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that measure how much it costs to fix a vehicle after after a low-speed accident. Sure, we're all interested in safety and styling, but we should also be concerned with how much these low-speed impacts will cost to repair. The winner of the testing was the Ford Focus, which scored light damage all the way around. The IIHS heaped praise on Ford for designing a bumper that can truly take a bump -- a novel idea.
Amazingly, some small cars like the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Prius and VW Rabbit cost up to a third of the car's worth to fix from damage resulting from a minor impact. That's a big problem for any car, but especially so for those sold on the merits of economy. To prove that it's not too difficult for auto manufacturers to design a better bumper, the IIHS made a few simple changes to a Prius that didn't affect the looks of the car. After retesting, it made it through the impact tests with a fraction of the damage. For the complete rundown on the testing procedures and results, click past the break.