Washington (AP) The outfit that crash tests new cars to see how well they protect passengers says automakers have made “big improvements” in small cars.
Joe Nolan of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says 11 of the 21 current small cars rated by the institute earned top scores in side protection. Two years ago, only three of 19 scored that high.
Nolan says several 2009 small cars got top scores in front-end Crash tests as well. Three of them—the Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Matrix, and Suzuki SX4 -- also got top scores in side protection.
Only one vehicle tested, the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser, received the lowest mark of poor in side protection and rear protection.
Sales of small cars have increased more than one percent this year as gas prices fluctuated.
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