2015 Toyota Prius C earns an IIHS Top Safety Pick

By Bob Nagy on August 10, 2015 12:36 PM

A mid-year structural update helped the 2015 Toyota Prius C garner a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). After its less-than-stellar initial performance in the demanding small-overlap barrier test, Toyota engineers made design changes to the front and occupant areas of the subcompact 5-door gas/electric hatchback and also extended the length of its side-impact air bags. The revisions, which affect all Prius C models built after May of this year, helped raise its marks in the small-offset crash from "poor" to "acceptable," and coupled with "good" ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints/seats tests, qualified the car for TSP laurels. 

Also: Class of 2016 -- New Cars Ready to Roll 

Since the Prius C does not offer any sort of forward collision prevention system, it is not eligible for a 2015 TSP+ rating. And despite its current TSP rank, Toyota will have to raise the benchmark even higher to carry that rating into the coming model year. The IIHS has announced that starting in 2016,even minicompact vehicles will have to earn a "good" grade in all five basic tests including small offset to qualify for TSP status.