March 7, 2005

Chevrolet Cobalt gets top marks in frontal crash test

Arlington, Virginia – The Chevrolet Cobalt is a ‘best pick’ in frontal offset crash tests, announced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while the Kia Spectra has risen from ‘poor’ to ‘acceptable’.

“The Cobalt is a big improvement over the Chevrolet Cavalier, which still is being sold. The Cavalier is rated poor for frontal crashworthiness,” said Institute chief operating officer Adrian Lund.

“The Cobalt’s structure held together very well in the frontal test,” Lund said. “The driver’s survival space was maintained, and there was minimal to moderate intrusion into the footwell area. The dummy’s movement was well controlled during the crash, and all injury measures were low. The Cobalt is rated good and earned the added designation of “best pick.”

When the Institute tested the Kia Spectra last year, it was the first vehicle since 2001 to earn a poor rating in the frontal test. Among other factors, forces on the dummy’s head were high when it bottomed out the airbag and then struck the door frame. Kia redesigned the driver airbag and asked the Institute to test the Spectra again.

“In this new test, the Spectra’s performance was better but not improved enough to earn a good rating,” Lund points out. “Another high head acceleration occurred when the dummy’s head bottomed out the airbag but, overall, injury measures were lower, dummy movement was somewhat better controlled, and the Spectra moves from a poor rating to acceptable” (the improved rating applies to Spectras built after January 2005).

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