Although several organizations evaluate the safety of new vehicles on a yearly basis, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is considered to be a leader in this field.
For the purpose of this article, we reviewed the assessments conducted by the IIHS on hybrid models, included the ones offering a hybrid version, to determine which of them are considered to be the safest.
Ratings from the IIHS vary from Good (best rating), to Acceptable, Marginal or Poor based on five crash tests, including the new crash test for minimal overlap designed to evaluate the consequences of a collision between the front-left corner of a vehicle against another vehicle, or a fixed object. The test has been performed for just over a year. As a result, several vehicles lost their TOP SAFETY PICK+, the best award given by the IIHS.
To earn this award, a vehicle must receive a score of Good for all assessments with exception to the minimal overlap test, where the minimum rating is Acceptable. All the cars on this list were awarded the TOP SAFETY PICK+.
In addition, for several months the IIHS has been evaluating cars based on their ability to avoid a collision due to their active safety systems, such as the adaptive cruise control, the lane change prevention system or the collision warning device. Vehicles receive a score of Basic, Advanced or Superior (highest score) based on their collision prevention technology.
The Toyota Prius was rated Good for each evalutation with the exception of the minimal overlap collision test, of which the Prius obtained an Acceptable rating. It received an Advanced rating in regards to its ability to prevent collisions.
Honda Accord Hybrid
The 2014 Honda Accord scored a perfect 5-star rating for the IIHS evalutations. The Accord also received a Basic mention regarding their accident prevention technology.
Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Ford Fusion received four Good ratings for collision testing, while the IIHS granted it an Acceptable rating for the minimal overlap crash test. Its ability to prevent collisions was rated Basic.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid also received four Good ratings, and an Acceptable score for the minimal overlap collision test. For its ability to prevent accidents, it received a Basic score.
Infinity Q50 Hybrid
The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is the only car on the list that was awarded the Superior rating for their collision avoidance technology. It received an Acceptable rating for the minimal overlap collision test, and a Good for the four remaining evalutations.
Acura RLX Sport Hybrid
The Acura RLX achieved a score of Good for all crash tests including the small overlap one, while it received an Advanced mention for the collision prevention test.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Toyota Highlander received four Good mentions for the collision evaluations, while the IIHS gave it an Acceptable rating in the small overlap collision test. An Avanced mention was awarded when assessing The Highlander’s ability to prevent collisions.
It’s important to note that, with exception to the Toyota Prius, it is possible that the IIHS reviewed the conventional gasoline engine versions of the vehicles listed above. That being said, the hybrid versions have the same security features as their combustion engine counterparts.