Special Report

The Most Dangerous Cars in America

1. 5
> Make:
> Bad ratings: Small overlap front, side
> Sales year-to-date: 6,835
> MSRP: $21,240

The Mazda 5, a compact minivan, was introduced to American drivers in 2005. The IIHS gave the car top marks in only two out of the five safety measures. A 2015 Mazda 5 received a marginal rating for side impact collisions and a poor rating for frontal collisions with a small overlap. In the event of a side impact collision, IIHS testing revealed that torso injuries would be possible for Mazda 5 passengers. Not an especially popular car, Mazda has sold less than 7,000 5s in the United States so far this year.

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2. 500
> Make:
> Bad ratings: Small overlap front (2- and 4-door)
> Sales year-to-date: 17,349
> MSRP: $19,345 (4-door) $16,845 (2-door)

The Italian automaker was selling the popular Fiat 500 — or Cinquecento — in Europe as far back as the 1950s. The tiny car was built for small European streets, favoring maneuverability over legroom. Like its spiritual predecessor, the new 500 is very small, weighing barely a ton. The new 500, both the 2-door and 4-door editions, failed the small overlap front test. According to IIHS, testing showed that drivers are likely to sustain injuries to the lower left leg in the event of a partial head-on crash.

3. A4
> Make:
> Bad ratings: Small overlap front
> Sales year-to-date: 15,765
> MSRP: $36,500

Introduced in the 1990s, the Audi A4 is arguably the most iconic model in the German automaker’s lineup. As is the case with most of the vehicles on this list, the Audi A4 passed each of the standard tests: side, roof strength, head restraints and seats, and moderate frontal overlap. However, the small overlap frontal crash tests on the Audi A4 revealed a high risk of injury, particularly to the thigh and hip area if such a crash occurs. In the small overlap crash test, the A4’s door opened, which can be dangerous because the driver could be ejected from the vehicle.

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4. Accent
> Make:
> Bad ratings: Small overlap front
> Sales year-to-date: 40,252
> MSRP: $14,745

The Hyundai Accent has come a long way to meet IIHS safety standards since it was introduced in 1995. As early as six years ago, the car did not have a single safety rating above acceptable from the IIHS, with a poor rating for both side impact collisions and the safety of its head restraints and seats. Today, though it still has some safety issues, the Korean automaker’s compact car performs slightly better. The 2015 model received top safety ratings in every category except for side impact and small overlap frontal collisions, which were rated acceptable and poor, respectively.

5. CX-9
> Make:
> Bad ratings: Small overlap front, roof strength, head restraints & seats
> Sales year-to-date: 10,848
> MSRP: $29,985

Not one of the most popular cars in the United States, Mazda has sold slightly more than 10,800 CX-9s so far this year. The large crossover SUV is one of just two 2015 model vehicles tested by the IIHS to receive moderate or worse ratings in at least three categories. In addition to a poor rating for a small overlap front crash, which means injury is very likely in the event of that kind of crash, the CX-9 also received marginal ratings for roof strength and head and seat restraints, meaning injury is likely in the event of an accident related to that part of the vehicle. For the roof strength test, the vehicle should be able to sustain at least four times the vehicle’s weight to receive the best possible rating. The CX-9 was only able to sustain 2.81 times its own weight.

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