IIHS Names Malibu Eco, Hyundai Azera and Prius C Top Safety Picks
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, a midsize hybrid; 2012 Hyundai Azera, a large family car; and 2012 Toyota Prius c, a small hybrid, earn the Institute's top award for good performance in front, side, rollover and rear impact evaluations.
The Malibu Eco is a redesigned model. The 2012 Malibu continues to be sold and also is a Top Safety Pick.
The Azera was previously tested for front and side crashworthiness. It meets the criteria for the award by earning good ratings in a recent rear impact test assessing whiplash protection and a roof strength test to measure occupant protection in rollover crashes.
The Prius c is a new model and joins the Prius and Prius v as IIHS award winners.
To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes.