Electric Cars

Published on July 31st, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Chevy Volt Tops Nissan LEAF In Safety Tests

July 31st, 2014 by  


Originally posted on GAS2

In the latest round of IIHS safety tests, the Chevy Volt earned top scores, while the Nissan LEAF was one of the worst performers on the new safety tests. The tale of two plug-in cars continues…

The IIHS praised the Volt’s safety and named it the safest of the dozen small cars they put through the paces. Only half of those cars earned and “Acceptable” rating in the 40 MPH small overlap front crash test, and only the MINI Cooper Countryman earned a “Good” rating. The Volt took top honors, however, thanks to its collision warning system, which the MINI and most of the other competitors lacked.

Meanwhile the Mazda5, Kia Forte, Nissan Versa and Nissan LEAF (which is based on the Versa) were singled out as the worst performers in the battery of safety tests. The IIHS was especially critical of the LEAF;
“The instrument panel, parking brake pedal and steering column were all pushed back toward the driver. Injuries to the left knee and left lower leg would be likely in a crash of this severity, and injuries to the left thigh would be possible.” The LEAF, along with the Mazda5, Forte, and Versa, were all rated “Poor”, with the Mazda5 also receiving a less-than-acceptable rating in the side-impact test.

Don’t take their word for it though; watch the cringe-worthy crash test video below, and then compare that to the Volt’s crash test. Which car would you rather be in?

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • GCO

    What a load of bull. The Leaf scored poorly on one out of 16 criteria for injuries. Another score was marginal, the remaining 14 were rated good, the highest IIHS score.
    This made the Leaf a IIHS Top safety pick until this year.

    Of course, guess which single result a writer with an agenda will choose to focus on…

    Actual results from the IIHS: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/nissan/leaf/

    Pictures and videos from tests other than small overlap are on another page: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/nissan/leaf/2012/

    • Ronald Brakels

      Thanks for catching this, GCO. Obviously someone has set out to spread fetilizer from a male cow and succeeded.

  • JamesWimberley

    So the Volt is sturdier. But how relevant are those spectacular head-on crashes to actual highway risks? I would have thought that side-on impacts (the other car jumped the lights), glancing impacts, and rollovers are far more likely. In 1997 the then new Mercedes-Benz A model failed the Swedish moose test (link). It’s unclear if this meant anything.
    Better-informed comments please.

    • Patrick Linsley

      A moose once bit my sister….

      • JamesWimberley

        Why did she get out of the car?

        • Patrick Linsley

          Lol it’s the begining subtitles in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sorry had to do it.

    • Calamity_Jean

      Actually, the “small overlap” test that the Leaf failed is meant to simulate a glancing blow with an oncoming car. This is the sort of crash that someone might get into if the approaching driver drifts over the centerline to his/her left and the other car can’t for some reason (narrow road?) dodge to the right to avoid the encounter.

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