Lexus ES, Scion iA earn Top Safety Pick Plus rating [Video]
The 2016 Lexus ES range and Scion iA have both earned Top Safety Pick Plus ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Both achieved ‘good’ results in the challenging small-overlap test, which slams the edge of the car against a rigid barrier at 40 mph. Intrusion into the driver’s space measured four inches for the ES, with a potential for injuries to the right lower leg, though the dummy’s movement was otherwise well controlled. The iA performed slightly better, with just two inches of intrusion and a low risk of any serious injuries.
The sixth-generation Lexus ES, introduced in 2012, received a ‘poor’ rating in the small-overlap test. The door-hinge pillar was torn away and maximum intrusion reached nearly 17 inches. The report indicated a high risk of injuries to the left knee, lower left leg and hip, and the dummy’s head slid off the airbag as the steering column moved up and to the right by six to seven inches.
The 2016 Lexus ES is merely a mid-cycle update, however Toyota included several structural revisions to improve performance in the small-overlap test. Modifications focused on the front end, A-pillar, roof rail, door hinge pillar and door sill. Toyota also improved its automatic emergency braking (AEB) system, which jumped from an ‘advanced’ to a ‘superior’ rating by completely preventing a collision in the IIHS’ 12 mph and 25 mph scenarios.
The organization praised Toyota for including AEB technology in the Scion iA as a standard feature, though it only succeeded in stopping the 12 mph impact rather than the faster approach.
“Although many vehicles now have front crash prevention as an option, it is still relatively rare to have the technology standard and unprecedented for a vehicle as inexpensive as the iA,” the IIHS said in a statement.
Toyota brands now have 10 different models that qualify for the Top Safety Pick Plus designation.