Small car safety improves

In the latest round of Insurance Institute crash tests, none of the small cars they tested earned top marks, but some still did well.

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Crash tests
Crash tests
In its latest round of small-car crash-tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ran eight models through a battery of trials.

They were plowed into a barrier and smashed from the side by a 3,300 pound sled, and a front seat from each model was separately hit to see how well it would protect occupants in the event of a rear-end hit in city driving.

None of the eight models earned the IIHS's "Top Safety Pick" award, but two performed very well, and only one got really poor marks in some of the tests.

Overall, smaller cars have made big improvements, according to the IIHS. As they get more popular with rising gas prices, automakers have improved their safety.

NEXT: Suzuki SX4
Last updated December 17 2008: 11:21 AM ET
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