The Power of Trust
You can't buy trust. You have to earn it.
That's what Ed Voyles Auto Group has been doing for more than 50 years: earning the trust and confidence of Georgia residents, with a total dedication to complete long-term satisfaction. That's why so many of Ed Voyles' customers are repeat customers...or referred by someone who has done business with Ed Voyles.
Honda's new Civic passed IIHS' tougher crash tests
becomes first compact car to get top insurance industry nod.
larger cars also got the Top Safety Pick Plus designation
how important it is to automakers to score well on IIHS
The revised 2013 Honda Civic is the first compact car to
earn a Top Safety Pick "Plus" designation from the Insurance
Institute for Highway Safety.
The insurance industry group does its own crash testing
separate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash test
program required for new vehicles.
Two Civics -- both the two-door and four-door models --
and three other larger vehicles earned this top rating, it was announced today.
The other top scorers were the redesigned 2014 Mazda6 midsize mainstream sedan,
the Lincoln MKZ midsize luxury sedan and the Volvo XC60 midsize luxury SUV.
TSP+ means the cars were able to score a top
"good" score on the new,
"small overlap frontal crash test" -- hitting a
barrier at 40 mph with just the outside 25% of the car's front end -- in
addition to the regular tests.
Larger vehicles generally hold up better than smaller
cars in crashes, which is why it's significant that the Honda Civic was able to
ace the new, added test with a "good."
Honda is delighted with its showing. "We believe
this is a distinct competitive advantage, especially as more and more consumers
place a premium on crash rating performance," says Art St. Cyr, Honda's
vice president of product planning, in a statement.
The test is not easy. The small frontal overlap that IIHS
began doing last year is designed to mimic hitting a narrow object, such as a
pole, or a partial head-on collision on the driver side. In order to be
designated as a TSP+, the vehicle needs to first pass the other IIHS front,
rear, side and rollover tests -- then pass the new small overlap test.
A bunch of cars have flunked the test, but the latest
test results show that engineers are figuring out how to modify new cars to
make sure they'll pass. Reached for comment, Clarence Ditlow of the Center for
Auto Safety says such tests are critical to coaxing safety improvements out of
Honda Civic's score reflects upgrades to the 2013 model
of the popular vehicle that had just been redesigned for 2012. A makeover of
that model was undertaken after criticism of the new car's interior materials
and other appearance and performance attributes, not its crash test results.
But while they were at it, Honda engineers built extra
safety into the revised version, with significant changes to the front crash
structure to meet the new test. The changes to the structure are related to the
design of the front crash structure of Civic's larger sibling, the redesigned
2013 Honda Accord midsize sedan.
The Accord was one of two mainstream midsize sedans to
score "good" in the small frontal offset in earlier testing of 13
models (story here).
According to IIHS, Volvo engineers took a different
approach, changing the SUV's electronics so that the side-curtain airbag would
deploy in the small overlap test.
This round of small overlap testing was at the request of
the automakers, who were confident they'd do well, said IIHS spokesman Russ
Rader. While this test is new and harder, IIHS has done a wider overlap test --
40% of the front end -- since 1995.
NHTSA not added such tests to its battery but says it is
is evaluating procedures for small overlap and also oblique frontal crash test.
Since it published initial findings in September 2009, NHTSA has had research
underway on such crashes and the types of occupant injuries that occur in them.
The agency says it also has developed two frontal crash
test procedures that are designed to replicate head-on crashes when a vehicle's
front corner collides with an oncoming vehicle's front corner at a slight
NHTSA's tests use a moving barrier (simulating an
oncoming vehicle) hitting the vehicle being tested. The agency has also
completed tests to demonstrate the procedures produce consistent, repeatable
results. And it says it is developing an advanced frontal crash dummy, called
THOR, to potentially make more human-like measurements for predicting injury in
the head, chest, hip, and leg areas.
NHTSA says that it and IIHS have been closely monitoring
each other's work in frontal crashes and that future test procedures pursued by
the agency will complement the procedures used by IIHS.
Automakers feel pressure to do well on both the IIHS and
the government tests, making the IIHS tests "almost a de facto government
alongside NHTSA's, said Tom Baloga, a recently retired
engineering vice president for BMW.
IIHS' tests are "sometimes tougher than NHTSA
tests," says Dan Ryan, Mazda's public and government affairs chief. But
Mazda's cars as they're updated are designed to perform well in them, he says.
IIHS does "a very good job publicizing the results so a lot of people see
them. So it's become a priority to do well."
Looking for a new car? Start here. Our Top Picks are as close as it gets to “no-brainers” in the auto market. They’re impressive all-around vehicles, chosen from more than 280 we’ve recently tested, that have excelled in our testing, are reliable, and have performed well in independent crash tests. What’s not to like?
For 2013, we have new winners in seven categories. Honda was a no-show last year, but it has picked up three slots on this year’s list with the redesigned Accord and the CR-V and Odyssey. Two European automakers return to the list; the BMW 328i and the Audi A6 are those carmakers’ first entries in our winners’ circle in 10 and 13 years, respectively. Also new are the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ sports-car twins. And theHyundai Elantra has returned after a one-year hiatus. No pickup was chosen because GM’s and Chrysler’s full-sized models have been revamped and we haven’t yet tested them.
What it takes
Top Picks must meet our criteria in three areas:
Road test. Each must rank at or near the top of its category in overall test score.
Reliability. Each must have earned an average or better predicted-reliability Rating, based on the problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.2 million vehicles in our latest Annual Auto Survey.
Safety. Top Picks must perform adequately if tested in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government or insurance industry.
Each model’s overall road-test score, predicted-reliability Rating, overall fuel economy, detailed pricing, and much more is available on their model pages. Prices reflect the sticker prices when we bought our tested cars.
The Accord was redesigned for 2013, and Honda nailed it, sending this sedan to the top of its class. This new model is roomy, nice to drive, well equipped, and very fuel efficient. With its four-cylinder engine, the Accord squeezes out 30 mpg overall and 40 on the highway, which is as good as the tiny Honda Fit. Higher-trim models have safety features seldom found in this category. And the Accord’s price is very reasonable: $23,270 to $30,860.
With redesigns of the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester just arriving, the CR-Vhas taken over as our top small SUV. Virtues include a smooth, responsive powertrain, good fuel economy, a compliant ride, excellent braking, a roomy rear seat, and outstanding reliability. It’s also one of the more competitively priced choices in the class. $26,455.
Reliability of the Odyssey has improved, and it has earned our top spot among family haulers. It provides a comfortable ride and a roomy, quiet, and versatile cabin. The rear seat is generous and easy to access. The V6 engine performs well and delivers a competitive 19 mpg. And a backup camera—a great safety feature—is now standard on all models. $36,830.