Smart ForTwo - top ratings

Posted on Thursday, 15 May 2008 , 01:05:10 byEmil

Filed under smartfortwotopratingsSmartToyota

Smart ForTwo - top ratings

Smart auto is getting now a lot of attention for the small size and style, plus that it’s earning some impressive crash test ratings. In recent tests from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2008 Smart Fortwo unit, the smallest one for sale in the American market, earned top rating of good for the front and side crash protection. And its seat/head restraints earned now the second highest rating - acceptable for protection against the whiplash on rear impacts.

"The big question from consumers is, ’How safe is it?’", says Adrian Lund - Institute president. "All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better. But among the smallest cars, the engineers of the Smart did their homework and designed a high level of safety into a very small package."

"People base their buying decisions on a lot of factors," says Lund. "If you drive only in congested urban areas where speeds are low, a small car may be more practical than a big one. We conduct crash tests so people who want small cars can choose the ones that afford the best protection."

To compensate the lack of space on front-end crush, the restraint system of Smart does more of a work of absorbing energy as the occupants "ride down" a crash. "We recorded a high head acceleration when the driver dummy’s head hit the steering wheel through the frontal airbag," explains Lund.

People often choose the very light autos for fuel economy, but "you don’t have to buy the smallest, lightest car to get one that’s easy on fuel consumption," Lund affirmes. "The Toyota Prius, for example, earns good front and side crash test ratings. It gets better fuel economy than a microcar, but it’s bigger and weighs more so we would expect it would be more protective in serious crashes."