The Safest Compact Car of 2023 is a New Model That Isn’t a Honda or Toyota
In the search for safer vehicles, the IIHS has raised its standards across the board. That means typical winners like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have some catching up to do. For 2023, only one car earns the IIHS’ top accolade for safest new compact car, and it’s a brand-new model that has everyone talking. It’s the new Acura Integra, and it’s the only small car to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2023.
How the Acura Integra Became the Safest Compact Car of 2023
Several factors help make the Acura Integra the safest compact car of 2023. When testing, both crash tests and crash prevention tests figure into IIHS rankings. In additon, all cars are evaluated for headlight output, seat belt reminders, crash structures, and airbag placements. Altogether, these scores add up to determine the safest cars with an overall rating.
Advanced driver assistance propels the Integra to the top
One of the biggest factors in ranking the new Integra as the safest compact car of 2023 is the performance of its advanced safety systems. Designed to prevent collisions, the AcuraWatch suite was tested for both crash detection and crash prevention.
In tests performed by Honda, the Integra showed an ability to avoid vehicular collisions at speeds up to 25 mph. In both daytime and nighttime settings, the Acura compact car could both detect and prevent accidents at city driving speeds.
Grading for pedestrian collision detection, this compact car once again proved to be the safest. It was able to detect a child-sized pedestrian in time to reduce impact velocity from 25 mph to just 2 mph. For adults, the system is able to avoid the collison altogether.
For adults walking along the path of the vehicle, the smallest Acura performed even better. In this scenario, the safest compact car of 2023 could prevent an accident at up to 37 mph. Even better, it detected the hazard with 2.3 seconds to spare.
The Acura Integra impresses in crash testing
In crash testing, the Acura Integra pulls ahead as the safest compact car of 2023. In every category, including the updated side-impact test, the Acura compact earned the top IIHS score. These tests include front overlap crashes (think head-on collision), rollover strength, and both head restraint and seatbelt functions.
Where the Acura Integra falls short
While the Acura Integra is the safest compact car of 2023, it doesn’t earn top marks in a few minor categories. The Integra’s headlights are rated as merely acceptable, which is one step away from the top IIHS rating of ‘Good’. In addition, the seat belt reminder score is Marginal, and LATCH ease of use rates as Acceptable.
The seat belt reminder is knocked down for its low volume, with concerns that it would not be heard with the radio on or at highway speeds. The LATCH score, meanwhile, loses points for the center rear car seat attachment. According to the IIHS, the attachment points are difficult to find and could be easily confused with other rear seat structures.
The only car to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for safest compact car
Desipte some shortcomings, the Acura Integra is the only compact car to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. Both technology and crashworthiness make it the safest compact car of 2023. Longstanding top scorers lke the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla still earn high marks, but the newest Acura is the model that takes the top spot overall.