Reuters Business Report - At 40 miles per hour, a car crashes into a five-foot-high barrier on the driver's side that overlaps one-quarter of the vehicle's width.
In this - the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new crash test - half of the 12 small cars tested were rated "marginal" or "poor" in results released this week.
The test's lowest rating - "poor" - went to Nissan's Sentra, and Kia's Soul and 2014 Forte.
DAVID ZUBY, INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY CHIEF RESEARCH OFFICER,
"Horrendous collapse of the occupant compartment illustrated by collapse of the hinge pillar, foot well,, A pillar, instrument panel all coming in toward the driver. Instability of the steering column moved the airbag inboard so much that it provided little cushion for the driver's head."
The insurance group says nearly one-fourth of U.S. front-of-vehicle crashes resulting in serious injury or death involve a single corner that strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole.
U.S. carmakers often design and engineer their models to score well on safety tests and use the results in their marketing.
Most of the small cars in the study were already in production when the new testing began.