Holden is pleased to announce that the small car Kiwis have come to love, the Barina Spark, has taken the 2014 Top Safety Pick Award for minicars in the US.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in America has chosen the Spark as the only minicar out of 11 to achieve an acceptable rating in small overlap front crash tests.
The small overlap test introduced in 2012 replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another one, or an object such as a tree. In the test, 25 per cent of the front end on the driver’s side strikes a barrier at about 60kph.
IIHS Senior Vice-President, Joe Nolan said that when a vehicle’s structure doesn’t hold up, injury risk is high, collapsing structures can knock frontal airbags and seats out of position.
"Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage and that’s why it’s even more important to choose one with best occupant protection, but in many size categories manufacturers have improved structures," said Mr Nolan.
Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Jeff Murray said this kind of test shows the importance placed on all our vehicles especially when it comes to safety.
"We are particularly proud when the smallest car in our portfolio achieves such a high crash test rating especially when compared to other cars in its class. Holden places a lot of emphasis on safety and pleasing when anyone of our cars tests so well," Mr Murray said.
All minicars tested, had low ratings for restraints and kinematics except the Spark and one other car. Seven of the 11 were downgraded for too much occupant forward motion during tests.
In two of the worst performing cars, intruding structure compromised the driver’s space and the steering column was pushed towards the driver.
In the case of one vehicle the dummy’s head barely contacted the frontal airbag before sliding off and hitting the instrument panel. In another car test, the driver door opened after the hinges tore.
For more on the IIHS test results please click here.