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2016 Toyota Prius Tops EVs In Safety

The Prius earns the highest possible safety rating. Will EVs try to catch up?

Compact sedans and hatchbacks are family vehicles and commuter cars. Safety is an important consideration to buyers of vehicles in this class. Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released the results of the safety evaluation of the all-new 2016 Toyota Prius, and it has earned the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. Something the 2016 Nissan Leaf cannot earn and the Chevy Volt and Tesla Model S have yet to earn.

This is not new territory for the Toyota Prius. The outgoing 2015 Prius model was also a Top Safety Pick Plus-rated vehicle. However, for 2016 Toyota improved the Prius’ safety systems in key ways. First, its forward collision prevention system is now rated “Superior”, up from its previous “Advanced” rating. More importantly, IIHS has made the highest rating tougher in 2016 by requiring that any vehicle considered for the TSP+ designation score “Good” on the tough small frontal overlap test. Prior to this year, a vehicle only had to score “Acceptable” on that test. The new Prius meets the standard with its “Good” score. The prior Prius made the grade as well, but with the lower crash test standard.

IIHS will likely list the Prius Plug-in, now know as the 2016 Prius Prime on the TSP+ list, since both vehicles have the same safety systems. The outgoing Prius V, which is still on sale, is also a TSP+ listed vehicle.

The most popular affordable battery electric vehicle, the 2016 Nissan Leaf cannot earn the TSP+ rating. It scores “Poor” on the small frontal overlap test, and it does not even offer forward collision prevention. The new Volt has not yet been tested by IIHS.

View details of the IIHS safety test of the Prius here.

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Top of page image courtesy of IIHS