Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    There's definitely some kind of problem with the front side structure. Note that the scores for the rear side crash weren't too bad. It could be the side beams--could be lots of things. Likely it's not due to something that's a quick/cheap fix or Hyundai/Kia would probably already have made that change. They crash their cars too, and probably knew in 2005 what the results would be.

    A couple other things I found interesting: both the Versa and Fit were tested with last-minute mods, in fact the Fit was actually re-tested with modified airbag programming when the driver's front bag fired late in the initial test. To Honda's and Nissan's credit, they made fixes quickly. But buyers of Fits and Versas made before the dates noted in the IIHS report should be sure they get the fixes--the report noted Honda has initiated a customer action to fix their cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Not just the heads, but the torso also:

    Dynamic ratings: Seat/head restraints with geometry rated good or acceptable (current and recent model cars) are tested in a simulated rear impact conducted on a sled to assess how well the seats support the torso, neck, and head of a BioRID dummy.

    So there's actually two rear tests: a geometric (measurements only) test, and a dynamic test (impact test on a sled). If the car is reated Marginal or Poor for Geometry, they don't even get a Dynamic test--they are scored "Poor" on the rear test.

    So the Geometry test is a test of head restraints, but the Dynamic test goes to testing the entire seat and the affect on the upper body.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Hyundai, in my opinion, gives the impression that someone in the board room says "Let's stuff the cars with all the safety features we can, and hope consumers notice". Then when it comes time to crash test, everyone just crosses their fingers.....

    While its certain they crash their vehicles, why release a car whose ratings you know may be bottom of the barrel?

    Definitely left scratching my head....

    One final note- in almost all the small cars tested, the dummy's head struck the steering wheel through the airbag, enough so to actually bend the Yaris' (which apparently didn't majorly affect HIC or Peak Gs, because it still received an 'Acceptable).

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Based on how they test, folks driving in a more reclined seating position are worse off because of the increased distance from the back of the head to the front of the head restraint.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Definitely left scratching my head....

    Yeah, mine too. You'd think Hyundai would have learned something through their experience with the IIHS frontal crash tests on the Gen 3 Elantra. They obviously know how important crash safety and crash tests are. They tout their safety features continually, and whenever one of their vehicles does well in a crash test they tell the world about it. So either their engineers who do their own crash tests are incompetent, or the execs who approved the release of the Accent knowing what it would get on the IIHS tests are to blame.

    If it's correctable, Hyundai/Kia had better act fast.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    I don't follow you. If you are in a more reclined position, wouldn't your head naturally be closer to the headrest? I would think if you are too upright, the distance to the headrest might be greater--hence the value of active head restraints.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    When the seat is reclined, you head isn't reclined with the rest of your body, otherwise you'd be staring up at the ceiling. When the seat is reclined, you have to tilt your head forward to see forward. You head will be in a vertical position no matter what the seat position.

    Imagine if the seat were completely verticle (uncomforatble), then the back of your head would touch the headrest because they're both vertical. With the seat reclined and the headrest at the same angle of the seat, you have to tilt your head forward to see forward, and the more you tilt your head forward, the greater the distance to the headrest. If you try it in extreme vertical/angled position you can really see the difference. I had a Mazda RX-7 and the headrest could be manually tilted foward, so when you're sitting at an angle you could move the headrest so it's closer to the back of your head. In my Freestyle when I'm sitting more upright, I can feel the headrest against the back of my head (probably why the Freestyle received a Good rear rating).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Seems kind of uncomfortable, moving my head forward like that. I don't recline my seat that much (there's other issues such as submarining), but if I did I'd probably just tilt my eyes down to compensate.

    I suspect the main reason these cars didn't get good rear crash ratings overall (except the Versa) is that the headrests aren't moveable fore/aft, actively or manually.
  • crimsonacrimsona Posts: 153
    Quite true. Just tried it in a co-workers Fit (I uh, decided to jump 2 feet high concrete walls with mine). When you recline the back seat all the way and lean your head back, your eyes are facing closer to the ceiling than the front, so you do end up tilting your head forward.
  • They crash their cars too, and probably knew in 2005 what the results would be.

    That's disgusting for an auto company to do. For over a year Hyundai portrayed the Accent to unsuspecting buyers to be one of the safest cars in its class, yet knew of its serious shortcomings and still didn't attempt to fix them. How anyone could have faith in the brand is beyond me. Also, shame on the IIHS for not releasing these scores for such a long time.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Don't just blame Hyundai...also blame Cadallic for having every one of their cars get poor ratings on rear crash protection:

    and Chevy Cavalier for getting Poor front crash ratings for the past 10 years

    and for Chevy Impala, Silverado, Trailblazer and Uplander for getting Poor ratings on rear crash tests

    And every Buick for getting Poor rear scores:

    And Lexus ES 330, GX 470, and RX for getting Poor rear impact scores.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    While we're beating Hyundai up, let's not forget to give Toyota some knocks upside the head (actually that would be quite appropriate, wouldn't it?). Like Hyundai, they knew from their own crash tests how the Yaris performed--with and without SABs. They knew its performance on the side crash test without SABs was horrendous--it's worse even than that of the Accent and Rio. Yet they decided to make SABs optional on the Yaris and in fact equipped very few Yarii with them for many months, selling tens of thousands of Yarii without this important safety feature. Now they are apparently making more Yarii with SABs, and that's good. But not good enough in my opinion.
  • 1. Chevy Cavalier hasn't been made for years. And when it was in production, did Chevy claim it to be one of the safest cars in its class? I doubt Chevy made any claims about its safety at all...just was praying people would buy one.

    2. Rear impact tests are far less important then front and side impact. The vast majority of cars receive Marginal to Poor rear impact scores, though only few receive both adequate frontal and poor side impact scores.

    3. Would you like to enlighten us about what Lexus and the Buick got for front and side impact scores? I didn't think so. )

    Hyundai set itself up for failure. It made unsubstantiated claims that the Accent was one of the safest cars in the class and it didn't deliver. No one else is responsible except for Hyundai.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I agree that the safety equipment should all be standard, but to be fair, if people just refused to buy cars without the optional equipment and dealers had a bunch of Yaris/Versa, etc...out there sitting on the lot without ABS or SAB, then maybe the move to make the safety featurs standard would occur quicker. But some people are more concerned with getting the right color over the safety equipment.
  • No problem giving Toyota some knocks, as the Yaris isn't exactly high on my list of cars I would purchase. But then again, I have the Versa, Fit and 2-DR Rabbit as options, cars that safe, stable, made with high quality components (structure anyone?), have better resale value, and don't cost much more than an Accent.

    I am curious about 2 things:

    1. Anyone think Accent sales will plument after IIHS released these scores? Then again, not that they have been selling all that great anyway.

    2. Will the Accent's insurance cost more than before? I'm not sure how insurance companies compute safety into their rates though I do know that a friend who went from a Neon (unsafe car) to a Corolla, saw his rates drop a lot.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Do you really think people would walk away from the Yaris if it cost a few hundred dollars more and came with standard SABs? I don't think so. ("Hmm, this Yaris has a standard safety feature that the Fit, Versa, Accent, and Rio also have. Oh, forget it then! I'm going to buy a different car!!") There was no slack-off of demand for the new Camry that includes standard SABs, was there?

    The fact is that Toyota put about as many Yarii with terrible side crash protection on the road as Hyundai put Accents on the road in the past year. It doesn't make Hyundai look any better, but they are not the only irresponsible car company in this situation IMO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Re structure: how much more than an Accent (or Yaris) does a Versa weigh? A Rabbit? All that extra steel has its advantages, as has been pointed out by the IIHS.

    I don't think the IIHS scores will help the sales of the Accent or Rio any. Big rebates, anyone? I expect there will be some impact on insurance rates, unless insurers already put high risk numbers on the Accent and Rio based on their prior designs--since they had nothing else to go on before now.
  • The Honda fit weighs in at 2432 lbs while the Accent GLS weighs in at 2366, yet the Fit performed very well in the tests. A difference of a mere 66 lbs wasn't the reason the Fit did better, better engineering and use of higher quality components was. Look at the IIHS structure numbers for example. *Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline. The intrusion in the Accent stopped a mere 4.0 inches before the center line of the seat compared with 9.5 inches for the Yaris WITHOUT airbags and 7.5 inches for the Fit. Also note the Rabbit/Jetta with 15.5 inches. I wouldn't be suprised if the Accent's structure was indeed made from outmeal :)

    But what does weight matter anyway if one can buy a a far safer car (albeit a bit heavier) for not much difference in price. Seems to be a good deal since one is getting all that extra steel for not much more dough.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    I think the differences in intrusion were due to structural issues as well as differences in crash space. I would expect the Rabbit is considerably wider than the other cars you mentioned (except maybe the Versa). But still the Accent's intrusion was 3.5-5.5 inches more than cars in its own class. Also, airbags don't help much if any on the degree of intrusion; they are there to keep body parts from hitting the metal that is moving towards them.

    Yes, it is possible to buy a heavier car for not much more dough than an Accent or Rio, although there is a penalty to pay in fuel economy, at least with the Rabbit, which is heavier than even the Versa. The Fit in particular, and also the Versa when it comes more readily with ABS, seem to offer the best blend of fuel economy and safety. The Yaris would be right up there too if SABs and ABS were standard as on the Fit, or at least readily available.

    At the price of a Rabbit or a Versa SL (more readily available with ABS as of early next year), there are alternatives in the compact and even mid-sized class that offer a good blend of safety and economy also, in particular the Civic. Even some mid-sizers with ABS and SABs, e.g. the Mazda6i and Sonata GLS, are available for around $16k.
  • The 2007 Sonata only received an adequate rating for side-impact and didn't exactly have the best structural integrity (a mere 1.0 inches from centerline of driver's seat). Sounds like another mushy Hyundai structure. No thank you, given the number of cars that received good side-impact ratings and high marks for structural integrity (Passat, Rabbit, Jetta, Camry, Accord, Legacy, etc.)
Sign In or Register to comment.