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Redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla Rates Marginal in IIHS Crash Test

By: Jeff Youngs, 10/7/2013
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has published crash-test ratings for the redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla, and the car received the highest rating of "Good" in four out of the five tests. The tests in which the Corolla performs well pertain to roof crush strength, rear-impact injury prevention, side-impact protection, and moderate frontal overlap protection.

In the fifth test, the new small overlap frontal-impact assessment, the new 2014 Corolla receives a "Marginal" rating, precluding it from earning a "Top Safety Pick +" designation for the 2014 model year.

The new small overlap frontal-impact crash test was announced by the IIHS after Toyota had already launched a project to redesign the 2014 Corolla, making it more difficult for the automaker to engineer the new Corolla to perform well in the new test. During a media event held to introduce the car, company spokespeople said running changes had been made specifically to prepare the Corolla for the new test.

According to the IIHS, the small overlap frontal-impact crash test is designed to measure how well a vehicle protects the driver in a collision in which the front left corner of the vehicle strikes a tree, utility pole, or oncoming traffic. After testing the redesigned 2014 Corolla, the IIHS called the car's structural performance "poor," noting that the "driver's space was seriously compromised by intruding structure."

Earlier in 2013, the IIHS performed this same test on 12 small cars. Half received an "Acceptable" or a "Good" rating in the new test, resulting in a "Top Safety Pick +" rating. Those models include the 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 Ford Focus, 2013 Honda Civic, 2013 Hyundai Elantra, and the 2014 Scion tC. The remaining models received a "Marginal" or "Poor" rating, including the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, 2013 Chevrolet Sonic, 2014 Kia Forte, 2014 Kia Soul, and 2014 Nissan Sentra.

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