Long before the results were available, the actual crash test of a smart fortwo used by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was released on YouTube. You can check out that clip here. The results have been released for the Good 12-winning fortwo, and it’s a bit confusing.
The IIHS gave the smart a ‘Good’ rating for front and side-impact crashes. Ratings don’t get any better than ‘Good’ for these tests. Unfortunately, the rear-impact whiplash protection of the smart was rated at ‘Acceptable’, down a notch from ‘Good’. That is only one of two reasons for the smart’s placement outside of the IIHS’s Top Picks category. Say they: “All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better.” Even if the fortwo were to protect its occupants from whiplash in rear-end collisions better, thereby gaining a ‘Good’ rating, the IIHS would have refused to give full respect to the Mercedes-Benz designed city car.
Don’t let this offend you too much, smart lovers. Crash-test results of the IIHS are not to be compared cross-category. This is part of what contributes to the erroneous theory that a Suburban or Expedition or Sequoia is always safer. After all, with 4wd and ‘bigger is better’, all will be well. Say that to the jumbo-SUV drivers who land in the ditch at a disturbing rate every time a winter storm strikes.