This week, the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety released the results of its evaluation of the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV), the Chevy Volt Extended range Electric Vehicle (EREV), the Tesla Model S Battery Electric (BEV), and the BMW i3, which comes in both BEV and EREV versions.
The most interesting part of the testing was that the Model S failed to meet the group's test criteria for Top Safety Pick plus in four areas. The BMW came very close, but failed to meet the requirements for head and neck protection. Both miss the mark so many far less expensive vehicles, like the Toyota Corolla, have met.
Both the Chevy Volt and Prius Prime did outstanding and each earns the Top Safety Pick Plus designation, the highest rating possible. However, there are a couple of things to note. First, the Volt had higher-rated headlights. The Volt had better low beam results on the left side. That said, the Prime still meets the Acceptable level required for a top overall score.
One difference many might find more important is that all Prius Primes ear the Top Safety Pick Plus rating, but not all Chevy Volts do. Volts buyers need to pay more and find a model in stock that has the optional forward collision prevention system required to meet the requirement of TSP+. As IIHS explained in its overview, "The Prius Prime Has an edge in that state of the art safety equipment is standard. No need to check a box on the options list to get a top-rated front crash prevention system or decent headlights."
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