There’s an old saying that goes like “If you’re spending money on safety, that means you’re rich”. Now, why did people say that? Well, that’s because back in the day no company paid as much attention to safety equipment as they do today. You could “buy” safety only if you were ready to spend big bucks on some very expensive cars.
Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore: the great thing about safety nowadays as compared to 10-15 years ago is that we had so little brands with a proven safety record back then – and most of them were luxury vehicles. Today the vast majority of affordable family cars are safer than ever – thank God!
Speaking of safety, I gotta give props to Toyota – the safest brand in history. It’s a well-known fact that this company always puts safety first – that’s been one of Toyota’s key elements to the huge world-wide success.
So, today I want to talk to you guys about IIHS and their crash-test ratings for Toyota’s hot cars in 2015. But first, before we get down to it, let me tell you a bit about “Zero Driver Fatality”. That’s a new distinction that IIHS is now including into their yearly reports: they basically analyze accidents in United States and determine which cars (models) have the lowest and highest number of driver deaths.
Safety – Priority #1 In 2015
So, recently the IIHS shared the official details of the “investigation” during the 2009-2012 periods. In total there were nine models in the list. And which company do you think had the most? That’s right – Toyota did!
They had 2 cars with Zero Driver Fatality – Toyota Highlander Hybrid (AWD, SUV, mid-sized) and Toyota Sequoia (4WD, SUV, large).
No, wait, they had three! Count in Lexus RX 350 (another mid-sized SUV with four-wheel drive).
All the other manufacturers (Audi, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, Subaru and Volvo) had only one model. Plus, the 2015 Toyota Sienna got the best safety rating for a minivan, so, that fact makes this almost ideal model that much better.
IIHS also reported on vehicles with the highest rate of driver deaths, and no Toyota car was listed.
By the way, Chevrolet had 3 cars in that list (Camaro, Silverado and Aveo), while Hyundai and Nissan had two – the Accent (2-door and 4-door models) and the Versa (4-door standard and 4-door hatchback). That’s just some food for thought for ya’ll.
Toyota’s Crash-Test Leaders – Who’s On Top?
Ok, so, as you might see now, the IIHS’s highest praise is a Safety Pick – and Toyota has a bunch of them. Let me elaborate on that a bit. In order to qualify for a Top Safety Pick, a car model has to earn good scores in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, plus at least an acceptable (or good) rating in the small overlap front test. That’s only the half of it: to get a Top Safety Pick+ rating, the vehicle must get an advanced/superior rating in front crash prevention.
So, you can see that the Institution takes its job pretty seriously, and any car that earns a Top Safety Pick, let alone the “+” rating, is your best bet if safety is of the upmost importance to you. Keep in mind, though, that bigger and heavier cars usually provide more protection than tiny light ones.
So, a Toyota Prius could never be as safe as a Toyota Highlander or 4Runner, even if it is a proud owner of a Top Safety Pick+ rating, and the bigger car is all-around mediocre.
Ok, let’s take a look at all Toyota vehicles that got the Top Safety Pick in 2015:
The Step-By-Step Guide To Toyota’s Finest
In “Minicars” we’ve got the 2015 Toyota Prius C with “Good” ratings in Head restraints & seats, Roof strength, Side, Moderate overlap front, and “Acceptable” in Small overlap front (last year it was “Poor”, so that’s step forward, because this test is known to be extremely hard to pass for a minicar).
Next, with a Top Safety Pick+ plus rating Toyota has the 2016 Scion iA (yep, it’s a Toyota branch, like Lexus), which has a “Good” rating in all of the 5 crash-tests, and even an “Advanced” Front-crash prevention rating.
So, better than the Prius, but only a little bit.
In “Small Cars” Toyota is presented by the “original” 2015 Toyota Prius (without the C), which was honored with the Top Safety Pick+ rating, and the 2015 Lexus CT 200H – also with a TSP+ rating.
The Lexus is a super-safe car, with a “Good” rating in all of the 5 crash-tests and an “Advanced” rating in the Front Crash Prevention test.
A good category for Toyota, right?
In the “Midsize Moderately Priced Cars” category (yep, that’s what it’s called) Toyota is presented by the 2015 editions of Camry and Prius V. Both earned the prestigious TSP+ rating, and that automatically makes them one of the best cars on the market. In all of the crash-tests the two cars made some improvements as compared to the last year models, and are today practically identical; still, Camry is a bit better with an “Acceptable” rating for the Child Seat Anchors Ease Of Use. On the other hand, the Prius V is actually much smaller in size than the Camry, so, a TSP+ rating is well earned.
The 2016 Lexus ES 350 is the sole Toyota model in “Midsize Luxury/Near Luxury Cars”. This one is another super-safe offering from the Japanese company with a TSP+ rating and “Superior” Front Crash Prevention (that’s with the optional equipment, though).
Surprisingly enough, in “Large Family Cars” the 2015 Toyota Avalon is the only car present, and it has a TSP overall rating, which is still pretty impressive (“Good” in all the 5 crash-tests). Avalon never used to be an obvious choice for customers who look for a safe sedan, but, over the years, Toyota transformed it into one of the safest sedans on the market.
As for “Large Luxury Cars”, Toyota is represented by the 2015 Lexus RC (TSP+; probably the safest car in this category).
The 2015 Toyota RAV4 is the one and only brand from the company in the “Small SUVs” category. It’s got a TSP (without a “+”), and for an SUV that means it’s likely to be more safe than all of the aforementioned cars.
Still, better than the RAV4 is the 2015 Highlander, a resident of the “Midsize SUVs” category and a proud recipient of the TSP+ rating. This car is a perfect choice if you need reliability, a very spacious and comfortable interior, great cargo space, fuel-efficiency, and, of course, safety. Easily one of the safest vehicles in the industry.
And finally, in “Midsize Luxury SUVs” we’ve got the 2015 Lexus NX (TSP+; superb safety, especially with some optional equipment), and in the “Minivans” category we’ve got the 2015 edition of the legendary Toyota Sienna (TSP+; the best and the safest minivan there is, hands down).
Ok, that concludes my report on the safest Toyota models in 2015 according to the IIHS. As I said, a small car can never beat a larger SUV in terms of safety, so, if you want your family to be as safe on the road as possible, then go with something big and heavy, like the amazing Mid-size SUVs from Toyota.
What do you think about safety? What are you currently driving? Share your personal experience with a TSP+ Toyota vehicle and let us know about your personal take in the comments.
Watch this video about Pedestrian Detection (PD) – Toyota Safety Sense in 2016 Models: