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IIHS News | September 15, 2015Subscribe

Lexus ES, Scion iA earn Top Safety Pick+ awards

ARLINGTON, Va. — Toyota Motor Corp. has racked up two more 2015 Top Safety Pick+ awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — one for the Lexus ES, a luxury midsize car, and another for the Scion iA, a new minicar and the least expensive vehicle to come with standard front crash prevention.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Toyota Motor Corp. has racked up two more 2015 Top Safety Pick+ awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — one for the Lexus ES, a luxury midsize car, and another for the Scion iA, a new minicar.

The company now has 10 vehicles that qualify for the Institute's top award.

The 2016 ES — including both the ES 350 and the hybrid ES 300h — was modified for improved protection in small overlap front crashes. Changes were made to the front structure, A-pillar and roof rail, door hinge pillar and door sill.

The car's performance in the small overlap test earned it a good rating. The driver space was maintained very well with maximum intrusion of 4 inches at the parking brake pedal. The dummy's movement was well-controlled and the front and side curtain airbags worked well together to protect the head. Measures taken from the dummy showed that injuries to the right lower leg would be possible in a crash of this severity.

Improvements also were made to the ES's optional front crash prevention system, which went from an advanced to a superior rating. The car avoided a collision in track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph. It also has a forward collision warning component that meets criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2016 iA also earns a good small overlap rating. The driver space was maintained very well, with maximum intrusion of 2 inches at the parking brake pedal, door hinge pillar and instrument panel. As with the Lexus, the dummy's movement was well-controlled and the airbags worked well to protect the head. Measures taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

The minicar has a standard low-speed front crash prevention system that earns an advanced rating. The iA avoided a collision in the 12 mph track test. The system doesn't operate at higher speeds or include a warning feature.

Although many vehicles now have front crash prevention as an option, it is still relatively rare to have the technology standard and unprecedented for a vehicle as inexpensive as the iA.

Toyota is one of 10 manufacturers that have committed to making automatic emergency braking standard on all models. IIHS and NHTSA are working with automakers to flesh out the details of the commitment, which was announced last week.

Both the ES and the iA earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. To qualify for Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn good ratings in those tests, plus a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap test. For Top Safety Pick+, vehicles also need an available front crash prevention system with an advanced or superior rating.

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