The 2015 Lexus CT200h, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza, Subaru XV Crosstrek and Toyota Prius have all earned Top Safety Pick Plus ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Other highly rated small cars include the Chevrolet Spark and Honda Fit.
In addition to the small cars that have earned Top Safety Pick Plus ratings from the IIHS, vehicles from the small crossover and SUV segment have also earned this rating. These include the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander and Subaru Forester. While the Chevrolet Spark and Honda Fit have only earned Top Safety Pick ratings rather than Plus ratings, they are the only 2015 vehicles in the IIHS "minicar" category to do so.
One important factor common to these top-rated small cars is the presence of a frontal crash prevention system. These systems usually incorporate sensors in the front of the car that automatically apply the brakes if they receive data indicating a likely collision. These systems can react much faster than most human drivers and can prevent or mitigate the effects of a frontal collision by slowing the car. However, frontal crash prevention systems are usually optional extras on the models that incorporate them, so the safety of a car without such a system may not be greatly superior to other cars also rated as Top Safety Picks.