Euro NCAP: Insight betters Prius and becomes Honda's (crash) safest car in Europe
Date: August 26, 2009 08:47
Honda PR + Euro NCAP
The New Honda Insight has been rated one of Europe‘s safest cars, setting the benchmark for hybrid vehicles, according to the new independent crash testing results from Euro NCAP.
Euro NCAP's rating scheme focuses on the vehicle's overall safety performance which gives consumers an easy to understand single score. The system considers occupant protection in frontal, side, pole and rear impacts, child protection, pedestrian protection and the availability of driver aids. The Honda Insight has been awarded the maximum 5-star rating.
The new rating scheme, introduced in February 2009, uses a weighted score, combining many aspects of a car's safety performance: adult (50%), child (20%) and pedestrian (20%) protection assessment results with the availability of safety assistance devices (10%). To qualify for inclusion, safety assistance devices (VSA for Honda) must be fitted as standard across 85% of the EU 27 2009 model range.
The Insight is the most recent in a string of Honda cars to receive top marks.Since the introduction of the new rating scheme Euro NCAP have tested 3 other Honda models; Civic, Accord and Jazz. All achieved 5 stars.
Euro NCAP's new assessment reflects Honda's commitment to overall vehicle safety, complimenting Honda's long standing in-house safety testing which seeks to improve real world safety. Honda's car-to-car crash test facility at the Tochigi R&D plant analyses impacts between models of different sizes and weights and develops solutions to mitigate injuries for both for passengers and pedestrians.
Safety in the Honda Insight
Vehicle Stability Assist
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying braking assistance to any of the wheels as necessary and modulating the engine torque output as required.
14" ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes ensure road stability, which is further enhanced by the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE)
Developed in the car-to-car crash testing facility at Tochigi, the Advanced Compatibility EngineeringTM (ACETM) body structure is now a well-established strength of Honda's safety credentials.
The ACETM body structure is a Honda exclusive body design that enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. The ACE design utilizes a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash.
The new Insight also incorporates many features designed with pedestrian-protection in mind. Research has shown that these features can dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle. Features include windscreen wiper pivots designed to break away on impact, energy absorbing front wing mounts and bonnet hinges, as well as an unobstructed area beneath the bonnet allowing greater space for deformation.
Airbags and Seatbelts
On all models the driver and passenger Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) front and side airbags are complemented by full length curtain airbags to protect all occupants. There are three-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts in all seating positions, the front seatbelts also have 2 stage Energy Absorption (EA) load limiting pretensioners. Additionally in the rear ISOFIX points ensure secure and correct installation mounting of child seats.
The Insight is also equipped with front seat active headrests which reduce the likelihood of neck injury in rear impacts. As the occupant is pushed against the seat back, a rigid plate in the seat presses a link to the headrest pushing it up and forward to support the head.
TOV editorial notes:
1) In terms of adult and pedestrian safety the Insight betters the Prius 90% -> 88% and 78% -> 68%. The Prius holds the lead in "child-safety" when using Euro-spec child seats (82%-> 74%).
3) The Insight's pedestrian score is the highest ever for a car with no active equipment (the Citroen C6 with its auto-rising hood still leads). In fact, under the old star-rating system it would have been the second ever car to obtain the maximum 4-star rating (after the C6).