The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has finished its latest round of Top Safety Pick testing, and three more cars have been added to the roster: The all-new 2012 Hyundai Azera, 2012 Toyota Prius c and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco. As readers may recall, achieving Top Safety Pick status requires vehicles to garner top grades for front-, side- and rear-impact crash protection as well as a roof-strength test developed to evaluate safety protection in rollover accidents.
The Hyundai Azera full-sized sedan was significantly upgraded for 2012, garnering enhancements like:
Also notable from a safety standpoint is an innovative new design for the Azera’s front seats, which eschew active front head restraints for an optimized structure that Hyundai says will reduce head and neck injuries by 17 percent (versus the 2011 Azera). Other Hyundai Top Safety Picks for 2012 include the Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Equus, Hyundai Genesis, Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Tucson.
The urban-friendly Toyota Prius c, like the rest of the Prii, garners most of its notice for its high fuel-economy marks; in fact, it posts the highest EPA ratings in city driving of any gas-only car available in America. But in addition to its fuel-economy marks of 53 mpg city/46 mpg highway/50 mpg combined, the Prius c manages to squeeze nine standard airbags into its tidy interior, along with Toyota’s “Advanced Whiplash-Injury-Lessening” seats. It also features a slew of electronic safety measures, including vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
FYI: The 2012 Toyota Prius and 2012 Toyota Prius v—the most spacious dedicated hybrid on the market—also are IIHS Top Safety Picks.
In addition to its eAssist technologies—which enable Chevy’s midsize sedan to attain EPA ratings of up to 37 mpg highway—the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco was developed to protect passengers before, during and after a crash, thanks to safety measures like 10 available air bags. That includes eight standard units, among them knee air bags and full-length side-curtain air bags, as well as available thorax/pelvis air bags for rear-seat passengers.
The Malibu Eco also boasts the most advanced braking system ever deployed in one of the Bowtie brand’s midsize sedans. The comprehensive setup provides added peace of mind with enhanced brake control while cornering, improved stopping power in emergencies, and increased braking pressure even during repeated heavy braking.