More Medals for Toyota: Lexus ES, Scion iA Earn Top Awards from IIHS

More Medals for Toyota: Lexus ES, Scion iA Earn Top Awards from IIHS
Image: Toyota
September 16, 2015

Car buyers interested in vehicles with top honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) would have plenty to choose from Toyota.

A Top Safety Pick+ award for the Lexus ES and the Scion iA bring the company up to 10 models that qualify for the coveted safety award.

Improvements to the 2016 ES – including both the ES 350 and the hybrid 300h – helped the car earn a good rating in the difficult small overlap front test. Changes were made to the front structure, A-pillar and roof rail, door hinge pillar and door sill, which helped maintain driver space and control the dummy's movement. Despite improvements, however, data taken from the dummy showed that injuries to the right lower leg would be possible in a similar crash.

Improvements to the optional front crash prevention system helped bumped it from an advanced to a superior rating. The forward collision warning component meets criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

About half- 47 percent – of new cars include an optional front crash prevention system, but the system comes standard in the Scion minicar, which is still relatively rare for a car as inexpensive as the iA. The system received an advanced rating. It avoided a collision in the 12 mph track test, but it doesn't operate at higher speeds or include a warning feature.

The minicar also did well in the small overlap test, earning a good rating. Data taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of significant injuries in a similar real-world crash.

Both cars earned good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. To qualify for a Top Safety Pick cars must earn good ratings in all those tests, plus a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap test. To earn the "plus," vehicles also need an available front crash system with an advanced or superior rating.