The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the Fiat brand its highest honor for the first time, naming the new 500X a Top Safety Pick+. It's only the second vehicle in the FCA empire, after the Chrysler 200, to score so well on the non-profit's crash testing.

The 500X got top marks across the board, ranking "Good" on all the crash tests, including the tough small-overlap test. In fact, the only area where the high-riding Fiat was given a demerit was on its optional crash-prevention system. It only scored an "Advanced" rating, rather than the top grade of "Superior" – vehicles need at least an "Advanced" crash prevention rating to earn a TSP+.

Of course, the whole reason we cover all these Top Safety Pick stories is so we can post video of the crash tests. The 500X story is no different, as the IIHS gives us its typical multi-angle, slow-motion peek at the small-overlap test for Fiat's new CUV. Check out the video up top.


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New Fiat 500X small SUV earns IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award

ARLINGTON, Va. — The new Fiat 500X earns good ratings in all five of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crashworthiness tests and an advanced rating for front crash prevention. The small SUV qualifies for the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award.

It is the second vehicle from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after the Chrysler 200 to earn the Institute's highest award for 2015.

In the most challenging IIHS evaluation, the small overlap front crash test, the 500X's driver space was maintained reasonably well, with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the door hinge pillar and instrument panel. The dummy's head contacted the front airbag, though it then moved to the left side, leaving the head vulnerable to contact with forward structure. The side curtain airbag deployed and had sufficient forward coverage to protect the head on the left side. Measures taken from the dummy indicate that injuries to the left lower leg would be possible in a crash of this severity, but the likelihood of other injuries is low.

In the moderate overlap test, the only issue was possible injuries to the right foot. There were no problems with the side crash test performance. The vehicle also has good head restraints and seats for whiplash prevention in a rear crash and a good roof strength rating for rollover protection.

The 500X has an optional front crash prevention system that earns an advanced rating. In the Institute's 12 mph track test, a 500X equipped with the system avoided a collision in 4 out of 5 runs. In the 25 mph test, the impact speed was reduced by 5 mph. The system also has a forward collision warning function that meets criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To qualify for the 2015 TOP SAFETY PICK award, vehicles must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, plus a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap test. For TOP SAFETY PICK+, vehicles also need an available front crash prevention system with an advanced or superior rating.

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