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Safest Small Sedans for 2012

Safest Small Sedans for 2012

By Jeff Youngs, October 23, 2012
Listed below, in alphabetical order, are the safest small sedans of the 2012 model year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These compact cars received the highest possible overall crash-test rating from each organization. The specific standard or optional safety features for each are highlighted.

Chevrolet Cruze
In addition to 10 standard air bags and optional rear park-assist sensors, the 2012 Chevy Cruze sedan is equipped with a free 6-month subscription to OnStar Automatic Crash Response service, which automatically contacts rescuers if the car's air bags deploy, immediately summoning help.

Chevrolet Sonic
Chevy equips the subcompact Sonic sedan with 10 air bags, stability control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and a free 6-month subscription to OnStar services, including Automatic Crash Response. When the Sonic's air bags deploy, Automatic Crash Response contacts rescue personnel to get help to the car's location as soon as is possible.

Chevrolet Volt
Technically, the Chevy Volt is a 5-door hatchback with 4-passenger seating, but its shape is dictated by aerodynamic requirements. It is equipped with 8 standard air bags, and includes 5 years of free OnStar service, including Automatic Crash Response. A reversing camera and front and rear park-assist sensors are optional.

Honda Civic
The 2012 Civic sedan is constructed using Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering, an underlying vehicle structure designed to help protect occupants in crashes with a wider variety of vehicle sizes and types. Additionally, the new Civic is equipped with 6 air bags, stability control, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist.

Hyundai Elantra
Every 2012 Elantra is equipped with 6 air bags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and stability control. A reversing camera is offered for both the GLS and the Limited trim levels, paired with the optional navigation system.

Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is an electric car with seating for 5 passengers and a maximum range of 100 miles on a single battery charge, according to Nissan. Six air bags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and stability control are standard, and the Leaf SL can be equipped with a reversing camera. Though technically a 5-door hatchback, we include the Leaf here because we also include the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius.

Toyota Prius
This 5-door hatchback's shape is dictated by aerodynamic requirements, as is the case with the Chevy Volt. The Prius is equipped with 7 air bags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, a brake override system that is designed to make it impossible to accelerate with the brake pedal pressed, and a stability control system. Options include a reversing camera, intelligent cruise control, and Safety Connect emergency response service.

Additional Safety Articles
Safest Cars 2012 : Under $25,000
Safest Cars 2012 : Over $25,000
Safest Family Sedans for 2012
Safest Luxury Sedans for 2012
Safest SUVs for 2012
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