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Will 2017 Chevy Bolt Match Prius Prime and Chevy Volt In IIHS Safety Testing?

The 2017 Chevy Bolt is presently being tested for safety. What's your prediction on how it will do vs. the current green car safety leaders.

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The Chevy Bolt has only been on sale a few months, but the Insurance Institue For Highway Safety knows a winner when it sees one. The group does not test low-volume vehicles, which is why it waited years to test the slow-selling Tesla model S. Everyone is predicting robust sales for the Bolt once its rollout is complete, and IIHS has opted to test it sooner rather than later.

This according to an IIHS tweet on March 10th, which said, "What we're working on today: The 2017 @chevroletbolt is in the house for safety tests." The group can take from a month to a few months to report its findings after it begins its testing. Partly because it often groups the vehicles into clumps. The Bolt missed the prior EV testing group due to the timing of its launch.

The Bolt has its work cut out for it. The top two selling EVs in America right now are the Chevy Volt in first place and the Toyota Prius Prime in second place. Both are IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus-rated vehicles. All Prius Primes earn this rating since all are fitted with forward collision prevention as standard. Only some Volts with optional safety equipment Chevy charges more for earn that designation.

In the recent testing, Tesla's Model S failed to earn a Top Safety Pick Plus rating for three reasons. We expect that Chevrolet, a company with vastly more safety testing experience than Tesla, Inc., will pass on the first round. We are not sure if all Bolts have forward collision prevention, but IIHS will be sure to make clear if they do or do not.

Image courtesy of IIHS.

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Jim Shamp (not verified)    April 12, 2017 - 9:39PM

Interesting finding. I wonder if this is a legit IIHS post. The gen-one Bolt does not have forward-collision prevention (active cruise control etc.). It won't park itself for us either. Properly equipped, the best we can get from a gen-one Bolt is a beep in the cockpit to let us know we're about to crash and possibly die because it's our destiny as tweeting/otherwise-distracted drivers. No, this version of the Bolt won't stop us if we're barreling toward a stopped truck ahead, or move us away from a bone-headed swerve into another lane. It just gives us a Darwinian alert so we can absorb our stupidity before we accept our due and give over the highways to more responsible drivers with more responsive cars. Despite the screams from some quarters about the Bolt's price, I'm willing to pay even more for a premium gen-two Bolt if I can get active features. Even though I refuse to play with phones and such while I drive.

John Goreham    April 12, 2017 - 10:38PM

In reply to by Jim Shamp (not verified)

I'm with you. I would not buy a new car today without active safety measures. It was a surprise to me that the three Tesla Model S cars IIHS bought back in October did not have active safety standard. Nor did the one test Model S Consumer Reports bought earlier this year and recently reviewed. The Leaf does not offer it at all. It seems like many EVs are behind in this regard. Only the Prius Prime makes it standard on all trims as far as I can tell from the research. For the record, this is a Torque News post. We maintain close contact with IIHS, but we are a new organization and they are a safety testing non-profit. They test, we report.