By Colin Bird on October 17, 2011
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced the 2012 vehicles it will test, as it wraps up testing on its 2011 lineup. This year the government safety agency will test 74 vehicles from the 2012 model year: 42 passenger cars, 22 SUVs/crossovers, eight pickups and two minivans. NHTSA will test 35% more vehicles than it did in 2011, when it tested 55 vehicles.
Popular 2012 vehicles to be tested include the redesigned Hyundai Accent, Chevy Sonic, Nissan Versa, Toyota Camry, Ford Focus, Subaru Legacy, Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Passat. The Toyota Corolla, Ford Mustang and Jeep Grand Cherokee will also be tested. Novelties include the Scion iQ, Fiat 500, Nissan Juke and the Coda, Mitsubishi i and Ford Focus electric cars. NHTSA tested the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf this year.All the vehicles will be evaluated using new testing standards that took effect this year. NHTSA’s composite scores are composed of a five-star rating for frontal, rollover and a combined side pole and barrier tests. The side pole test simulates a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side.
Overall, the agency says the list of vehicles (and the carry-over vehicles it tested in 2011) will provide safety info for 81% of the 2012 model year vehicles by volume. About 92% of the 2012 fleet (by volume) will have rollover testing information. There are more than 300 vehicles on sale; luxury cars and exotics are rarely tested by NHTSA or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In its tests, NHTSA now makes an effort to point out additional safety features, such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning. The agency notes that the amount of vehicles with either safety option has jumped from 45 vehicles last year to 68 vehicles today. The most affordable vehicle that can be had with both is the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
Continue reading below for the full list of vehicles selected for crash and rollover testing.