The 2012 Toyota Camry and 2012 Cadillac CTS have joined the ranks of vehicles that have earned the coveted five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The vehicles mark the 15th and 16th models to nab the top rating under the tougher NHTSA crash test standards enacted for 2011 models. Last year, the 2011 Camry took home four stars in the evaluations. Toyota reminds us that the 2012 Camry is built with high-strength steel to help protect the passenger cell against deflection in the event of an accident, and that the vehicle comes standard with 10 airbags, all of which contribute to the new model's superior score.

The Fiat 500, meanwhile, didn't fare so well under the range of crash evaluations. The tiny hatchback collected just three stars overall. The side-impact test was particularly cruel to the Italian compact, with NHTSA awarding the vehicle two stars in that category – a somewhat surprising result considering that Fiat went to the trouble of redesigning the 500 for U.S. crash test compatibility. The 500 finds itself in the company of the Dodge Caliber and outgoing Ford Escape as the only models tested so far to receive the three-star designation.


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  • 80 Comments
      CH
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The 500 finds itself in the company of the Dodge Caliber and outgoing Ford Escape as the only models tested so far to receive the three-star designation." False! The 2011 Honda Civic and CR-Z scored only 3 stars. The Nissan Versa scored only 2.
        CH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @CH
        Additional 3-star cars: 2011 Toyota Camry (early production) 2011 Toyota Corolla 2011 Toyota RAV4 2011 Mazda Tribute (Same as Ford Escape)
      Kris Warwick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is the "post test" sticker really needed?
      bman78
      • 3 Years Ago
      interesting. IIHS gave the 500 good marks for fiats built after july of 2011 http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=732
      Hernan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow. It got a 5-star NCAP rating in 2007. Amazing to see NHTSA step it up!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hernan
        [blocked]
      Richard Nygaard
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love the "post test" sticker. Wouldn't want to get them confused.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      "POST-TEST"? Gee, ya think? /
      bman78
      • 3 Years Ago
      being a very slow sales day at the dealership i decided to review the crash test from NHSTA: http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Shoppers/5-Star+Safety+Ratings/2011-Newer+Vehicles/Search-Results?searchtype=model&make=FIAT&model=500&year= and IIHS http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=732 from what i can gather the IIHS got better results in the side impact from a 500 built after july of 2011. I wounder if NHSTA tested an fiat built earlier?
      Rob Gomes
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting. The Euro NCAP results for both front and side impact are a 15 or higher, which is enough for a 5-star occupant rating (3-star for child occupants 3 years and younger). It appears that highest forces are on the legs and chest. Anyone have any hard facts on what the differences are in NCAP, IIHS and NHSTA testing that would cause the Fiat to be evaluated more harshly in the US?
        CH
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob Gomes
        It is a reminder that crash tests have limitations. Adding new tests or changing the paramaters of the tests can produce significantly different results. The IIHS doesn't have a pole test while the NHTSA and Euro NCAP do. However, the Euro NCAP and NHTSA pole tests differ in angle, speed and other parameters. Similarly, the three organizations use different parameters for the front and side impact tests. The differences include speed, full frontal vs offset, barriers, types (size, sex, design) and number of crash test dummies, injury measures and scoring methodology.
      breakfastburrito
      • 3 Years Ago
      They need to test rollover ratings, actual numbers of mortality per vehicle, and show that chance of mortality in SUV's is higher (in a different way) than small cars. These stupid tests do not follow "real world" numbers, and don't account for "evasive capacity", field-of-vision, or "chance of killing others". Drunks using lamp posts - for support, not illumination.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want to see more pictures.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even the horrid little Smart car out preformed this excuse of a vehicle
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