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#3256276 - 01/22/14 01:07 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: dparm]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5412
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: dparm
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: dparm
Are we designing cars merely to pass the test, or to be safe?

Good question. How do we determine if a car is safe? Typically we determine this by looking at how it did in one test or another because this data is readily available.

Sure, you could search for fatality and injury rates instead, but since these accidents happen in uncontrolled environments, you never know if you're comparing apples to apples.



I'm not saying the tests aren't necessary. I just don't like the idea that cars are designed to pass the test. A standard is still a necessity to compare vehicle safety.

There have been many vehicles over the years (Volvo, hint hint) that were so safe to begin with that they were passing the tests before they were even required. That is a sign of good engineering and prioritizing safety. I think this philosophy is applicable in many areas of engineering and design.

I think the standard testing makes all the car makers make safety a consideration, otherwise advertising claims could make it hard to figure out which cars are built well and which ones just claim to be.
One of the british car shows did a offset crash of a, "safe" at the time, late 80's Volvo and some new Renault small hatchback. The result was near certain death for people in the Volvo, and the Renault passengers probably walking away...
So I think the standardized testing has been effective in increasing all cars safety, probably more than if the manufacturers had been left alone.
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#3256281 - 01/22/14 01:16 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: rjundi]
99Saturn Offline


Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 956
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: rjundi
This size of car class IMHO is a poor value anyway and that is too bad less safe.

The FIT for example did poorly in this test. I really don't see the value of that vehicle vs a Civic which achieves significantly better MPG, larger, better comfort and gets a good rating for the same crash test. The base price difference is $3000.

I don't get these really small cars.


IMO, the value is what you called out, its $3K less. Plus I would think as you incorporate more add ons to the base model, the Civic "feels" more expensive that the Fit.

Not trying to defend the Fit or that size car in general, I just think it is filling that segment of the market that wants to buy new but wants a lower (lowest) price tag, safety may isn't the first thing the consumer.

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#3256285 - 01/22/14 01:21 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6238
Loc: Onondaga County
Interesting that two of the "premium" cars in this segment did the worst.

+1 for Chevy Spark! I really like that little car!
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#3256286 - 01/22/14 01:21 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
EvanD Offline


Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 273
Loc: well traveled
I can't believe these thing do so well
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/smart/fortwo
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#3256287 - 01/22/14 01:22 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
stephen9666 Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 2484
Loc: USA
I wonder how the Versa Note would have performed? I think there are some differences between the Versa sedan and the Versa Note.

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#3256300 - 01/22/14 01:30 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6238
Loc: Onondaga County
It's all in perspective, too. A Spark vs a Crown Victoria may not end well.

However, if you are playing chicken with an 18 wheeler, doesn't matter if you are in a Spark or an Excursion ... it won't end well.
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#3256310 - 01/22/14 01:37 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
Win Offline


Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3277
Loc: Arkansas
Little bitty econoboxes are dangerous and much more likely to get you killed or horribly maimed?

What a shocker.
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#3256338 - 01/22/14 02:03 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: rjundi]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 8406
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Originally Posted By: rjundi
This size of car class IMHO is a poor value anyway and that is too bad less safe.

The FIT for example did poorly in this test. I really don't see the value of that vehicle vs a Civic which achieves significantly better MPG, larger, better comfort and gets a good rating for the same crash test. The base price difference is $3000.

I don't get these really small cars.
Back when i bough my FIT the civic was built like a garbage can and even fell off the CR list. The Fit is the most reliable car made and is the only real HONDA you can buy (other than some Acuras). I agree that its WAY overpriced.++ Its pretty comfortable for my 6'-2" frame - many midsizers have a very cramped drivers seat and console and poor sightlines.
Also a commuter car should not ever! weight more than 1 tonne! Soory that Safety and the fEDS has erased the fun from many small cars though.

++ My buddy paid an M.D. 11K$ for a lighltly used $110,000.00 Mercedes sl500. Not My cup o tea but ... His other Acquisition is a slightly used BMW 540 for 14K$.
That's a verie schweet rode to hoe.


Edited by ARCOgraphite (01/22/14 02:05 PM)
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#3256366 - 01/22/14 02:23 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 1683
Loc: London, England
Will give that link a good rear later.

The Chevy Spark was a 4 Star EuroNcap car i believe.

Renaults have long been the safest small cars.

My wifes Clio is an 06 model and that scored very well on EuroNcap and i am fairly certain it was 5 Star.
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#3256371 - 01/22/14 02:27 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
SuzukiGoat Offline


Registered: 02/04/13
Posts: 380
Loc: Louisiana
I drive one of the least safe cars ever built according to those tests. The wife has the same thing with air bags...which she wont let me disable.

But...your best bet in an accident is mass and height.

I've put an 01 Camry into a tree at 45 and walked away with bruises. The tree pushed the engine, which pushed the firewall, which pushed the steering wheel, which pushed my big [censored] and the seat into the rear seat. But to be honest since it was slowed down so much by crumpling what hurt the most was the [censored] airbags engaging and sending my right arm/fist into my collar bone.

I hopped out fine, in shock, and probably should have gone to the hospital...but without a scratch. The car looked like it was hit by a tank.

Another safety recommendation for car crashes...get fat. Cushion everywhere!


The next investment for our cars are safety seats with head padding. Very comfortable and one more layer of safety.
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#3256394 - 01/22/14 02:43 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
morepwr Offline


Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 1217
Loc: ventura, ca
If your in a small car and get hit by a big vehicle that outweighs you then you get that "bat hitting the ball" affect.
Really no surprises that those tiny cars don't do as well in crashes.

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#3256401 - 01/22/14 02:51 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13286
Loc: Upstate NY
I did not read the article but NPR did report on this this morning and the net was you are giving up safety for economy in most sub-compact vehicles.


Edited by Donald (01/22/14 02:59 PM)
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#3256507 - 01/22/14 04:28 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Donald]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 12435
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Donald
I did not read the article but NPR did report on this this morning and the net was you are giving up safety for economy in most sub-compact vehicles.


For a vehicle used to drive around town at low speeds, especially in crowded cities, that might actually be fine. In downtown Chicago I don't think you can even get moving any faster than 30mph except on Lake Shore Drive.
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#3256540 - 01/22/14 05:30 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8348
Loc: Upstate NY
There are other reasons to own a subcompact. Parking is a big one. We can slide our Fit into ridiculously tiny spots, which has proved to be a huge asset for my wife who works in a city center.

Regardless, folks have a great track record of walking away from really gnarly crashes in Fits, testing be darned.
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#3256547 - 01/22/14 05:39 PM Re: Small cars and small overlap front crash test [Re: Quattro Pete]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 6298
Loc: beaver land EH?
IIHS has really tighten the impact (collision) requirements since 2011 or 2012 (thereabouts). This corner side-impact has initially failed many, many automobiles during the 1st year when the new requirements came out, incl. the 2012 release of camry, amongst many other automobiles in many categories.

I wouldn't be all that surprised if fit or many other subcompacts would fail in that category...citing that the requirements is almost to the point of being nit-picking.

While I must say that bigger automobiles may provide more margin of safety, but I still feel safe even in my 06 fit, when compared to all the other accidents I had in the past: crashed a 81 GLC during a blizzard, all 4 occupants walked out of the car with very little scratches; rolled over in a 93 4-runner due to driver's fault (black ice, 4wd mode), front windshield completely collapsed....occupants walked out with minor bruises...

I would like to see my cars passing Euro Encap tests but realistically speaking: NA's IIHS tests are stringent enough to be safe to begin with...if you are to compare to some mainland chinese cars avail outside of N.A. market.

Q.
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