The Chevrolet Volt came out of the IIHS’ recent round of small overlap front crash testing with an acceptable rating, something that can’t be said for its closest rival, the Nissan Leaf.
“Driver space in the Volt was maintained reasonably well, and data taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of significant injuries,” said an IIHS press release. “The story’s different for the Leaf. Significant intrusion left little survival space for the dummy, meaning likely knee and leg injuries.
“The Leaf is rated poor. The Volt has an optional forward collision warning system and qualifies for Top Safety Pick+.”
Despite their varying performance, neither had any post-crash safety issues with their battery packs or electrical systems.
The only other “green” car being tested was the Ford C-Max Hybrid, which also earned an acceptable score an the regular Top Safety Pick kudos.
Other small cars earning the TSP include the Mini Cooper Countryman (good), the Mitsubishi Lancer (acceptable ) and the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins (acceptable). The Scion xB and Hyundai Veloster earned marginal scores, while the Fiat 500L, Nissan Juke and Mazda5 scored poorly.
The small overlap test, introduced in 2012, “… replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph.”