2016 Toyota Prius earns Top Safety Plus honor from IIHS

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The 2016 Toyota Prius earned a Top Safety Pick+ award in the latest crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The new hybrid might have a polarizing design, but it's safe enough to get the organization's top honor.

The Prius earned the top "Good" score in the notoriously difficult small overlap front test because the driver's survival space maintained its shape, including just two inches of maximum intrusion into the cabin. The front and side curtain airbags also kept the head well under control and protected it from the vehicle's structure. The agency found the risk of injuries to the legs and feet was also low. The results were an upgrade over the previous-gen Prius, which had an "Acceptable" score in the same test.

The IIHS gives the 2016 Prius' optional front crash prevention system with the organization's top "Superior" rating because the tech can avoid collisions at 12 and 25 miles per hour. Either an Advanced or Superior score is necessary to earn Top Safety Pick+ honors. It judged the last-gen Prius' active safety equipment as "Advanced."

If you don't mind the design, the 2016 Prius offers customers a lot more than just safety. The model now gets 54 miles per gallon city, 50 mpg highway, and 52 mpg combined. We also found the latest generation's handling to be much better than the last one during our First Drive.

Check out the video of the crash test, below. If you don't like the way the Prius looks, maybe smashing it against a wall helps the styling.

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Redesigned Toyota Prius earns 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award

ARLINGTON, Va. — The 2016 Toyota Prius qualifies for the top award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after acing the challenging small overlap front test. In addition, the optional front crash prevention system on the small hybrid car has improved to earn a superior rating.
To qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK+, vehicles must earn good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and must have an available front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating.

The previous generation of the Prius had good ratings in four of the five crashworthiness tests, but rated only acceptable for small overlap protection. The earlier model's structure didn't hold up well in the test.

In contrast, the 2016 Prius had maximum intrusion of just 2 inches at the upper door-hinge pillar and at the brake and parking brake pedals. The dummy's movement was well-controlled, and measures taken from the dummy showed a low risk of injury in a crash of the same severity.
The optional front crash prevention system has improved over the advanced-rated system available on the previous model. The new Prius avoided collisions in both the 12 mph and 25 mph IIHS track tests. It also has a forward collision warning component that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

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