Archive for the ‘iihs’ Tag

Chrysler 200 Vs. Chevrolet Malibu: Compare Cars

The 2016 Chrysler 200 and the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu are sleek, affordable, and full of features–but which one is better for you?

By our numeric rankings, the Chrysler 200 slightly outscores the Chevy Malibu, but that result comes with a couple of caveats. First, it’s largely due to the Chrysler’s excellent safety scores and the absence of data with the new Malibu. The Chevy simply hasn’t yet been tested by either the NHTSA or IIHS, so its score could rise if it performs well.

And while we found few flaws in the Malibu, the 200 has a pair of issues that affect family-car shoppers in particular. Its rear seat simply isn’t large enough for two adults to ride comfortably–the same problem the previous Malibu had–and its nine-speed automatic transmission can be inconsistent, balky, and often unpredictable.

Both of these four-doors are targeted at the heart of the mid-size sedan market. The 200, now in its second model year, replaced an unloved previous generation that dated back to the Chrysler Sebring a decade ago. The Malibu, new this year, also replaces a less-than-successful model that lasted only three years.

The Chrysler 200 has a smoothly rounded shape led by a refined grille and front end. The roofline is long, and tapers down to the tail and a short, flush decklid. It’s a new and elegant appearance for Chrysler that looks more expensive than it is. The 2016 Malibu echoes the handsome Impala in smaller, more svelte proportions. The long new body and rich-looking interior on premium models dispense completely with any historic Chevy references, and it works.

Inside, the Chrysler 200 is superbly detailed, with a waterfall-style dash containing features like sliding cupholders and plenty of cubbies, while the dash itself is covered with top-notch materials, fits, and finishes. A number of design touches are both functional and distinctive—like the rotary shift controller and the pass-through storage area in the center console.

The new Malibu has a more conventional dashboard shape that’s both unified and appealing. The center stack makes space for bigger MyLink infotainment screens, while materials include interesting trim choices—fabric-wrapped panels on less expensive trim levels, metallic-look on others, a leather-looking synthetic wrap on dash and console trim on top models.

While the Chrysler 200 feels roomy in the front seats (if a bit low), it’s less useful in back. The door openings make the rear seat difficult to get into, and the swooping roofline exacts a penalty on riders 6 feet or taller. The Malibu, on the other hand, feels far roomier than its predecessor, due to design decisions that maximize the feeling of interior space. The dash has been lowered and pushed out at the corners; new seats offer better support all around; and there’s much more rear legroom than before. Four larger adults can ride comfortably in the Malibu, not in the 200.

The Chrysler offers two powertrains, a 184-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 295-hp 3.6-liter V-6, both with nine-speed automatic transmissions. All-wheel drive is available with the V-6 only. We’ve found the nine-speed automatic can shift abruptly—especially with the four-cylinder. You’ll find the V-6 has a bit of torque steer unless you opt for all-wheel drive. The 200’s fuel efficiency is lower than many mid-size sedans with larger interiors, and there’s no hybrid or diesel model. The four-cylinder gets 28 mpg combined; switch up to the V-6 and that falls to 23 mpg combined. Add all-wheel drive, and you drop to 22 mpg combined–no better than some mid-size SUVs.

Most Malibu will be powered by a 160-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, driving the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s quiet, composed, and hard to catch flat-footed. High-end models step up to a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo four, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that gives precise, defined gear changes. This top turbo Malibu now feels as quick as predecessors with V-6s, and offers some of the best drivability and refinement in its class. There’s no AWD option, though.

Finally, there’s a Malibu Hybrid, which pairs a 1.8-liter (non-turbo) four-cylinder with a 1.5-kwh battery pack and twin electric motors that effectively operate as a continuously variable transmission. This model makes 182 hp combined and can operate in electric-only mode up to 55 mph. Gasoline Malibus with the 1.5-liter turbo get 31 mpg–a start-stop system is standard–while those with the 2.0-liter turbo come in at 26 mpg combined. The Malibu Hybrid is rated at 47 mpg combined–better than any other hybrid mid-size sedan this year.

The Chrysler 200 gets excellent crash-test ratings from both U.S. agencies. And it offers an available lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitors, and forward-collision warnings with automatic braking, plus adaptive cruise control and rain-sensing wipers.

We’d expect the Malibu to earn some top-level scores from both the NHTSA and IIHS when test results are released. It too has a long list of available active-safety items–pretty much everything on the 200 plus some newer systems as well, although most are the exclusive domain of the top LT and Premier models.

In the end, the Chrysler 200 edges the Chevy Malibu on styling and an excellent interior, though it’s a very close finish. Pending test results for the Malibu, the 200 also gets the safety crown. The Malibu is far more fuel-efficient in both gasoline versions, not to mention the Hybrid–but those scores don’t factor into our overall rating. Either one is stylish, fresh, well-equipped, and will provide comfortable transport. If you need to put adults in the rear, though, you’ll want the Malibu.

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1102132_chrysler-200-vs-chevrolet-malibu-compare-cars

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Chrysler 200 safety: five stars

The 2015 Chrysler 200 has earned a five-star (the highest possible) overall safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It scored five stars in frontal collisions, two-vehicle side-impacts, and single-vehicle-with-pole side impacts. It got four stars for rollover resistance.

The 2015 200 had already earned a Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The car’s many optional active safety systems do not factor into the ratings, though NHTSA provides recognition on their safety-ratings page for them. Collision-warning systems are required for IIHS Top Safety Pick+ status.

One segment-exclusive feature is the standard Electronic Park Brake (EPB) with SafeHold. This automatically activates the parking brake if the driver’s seatbelt is unlatched and their door is opened while in Drive or Reverse, to prevent rollaways.

Other standard and available features include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), electronic roll mitigation, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, ParkSense rear backup sensors, ParkView rear backup camera, blind-spot monitoring, Rear Cross Path Detection and LATCH child seat anchors.

The 2015 Chrysler 200 is built in Sterling Heights, Michigan, a short drive north from Detroit.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/10/chrysler-200-safety-five-stars

All-New 2015 Chrysler 200 | Named Top Safety Pick+ by IIHS

We’ve known all along that the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200 is a great vehicle. Now we have the independent ratings to prove that it’s among the safest on the road.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200 a 2014 Top Safety Pick+, its highest rating. “The 200 aced the challenging small overlap front test with a good rating in every measurement category,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund. “Chrysler should also be commended for offering forward collision warning with autonomous braking on this mainstream midsize car. Our research shows that these systems are effective in preventing some kinds of crashes from happening altogether.”

IIHS testing simulates a number of potential collisions, including a side impact with a large SUV or pickup truck, front moderate-offset impact, roof-crush consistent with a rollover, a rear collision capable of inducing whiplash, a new small-offset frontal impact and new crash prevention evaluation. In the small overlap test, IIHS notes that “the driver’s space was maintained well, and injury measures recorded on the dummy indicated a low risk of any significant injuries in a real-world crash of this severity.”

The All-New 2015 Chrysler 200 is a showcase of advanced safety and security technology, offering a comprehensive array of driver warning and assist systems and state-of-the-art occupant restraints, and that’s not all: “With a standard nine-speed transmission, innovative available all-wheel-drive system and 60 safety and security features, the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for the new 200 is the icing on the cake for customers, giving them added peace of mind,” said Al Gardner, President and CEO — Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC.

Experience the All-New 2015 Chrysler 200 in person by visiting Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram or Dick Scott Motor Mall.

As read on: http://blog.chrysler.com/vehicles/200/new-2015-chrysler-200-named-top-safety-pick-iihs/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=KMAug2614facebook1&ism=KMAug2614facebook1

IIHS says rearview cameras more effective alone than with parking sensors

Rearview cameras sound like a good bet if you’re concerned about safety, but a new study just published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that their benefits may be limited. Parking sensors, says the study, provided drivers with no more safety protection than using just your mirrors, and combining those and backup cams together was actually more dangerous in some cases.

The study examined 111 volunteers who were asked to perform normal driving behaviors. When they left a parking spot, the cutout of a child either jumped up or moved into place to surprised them. The vehicles were equipped with parking sensors, backup cameras, both or neither.

The study results are surprising. For the stationary object: 100 percent of those tested using just their mirrors hit it, about 95 percent with parking sensors, 56 percent with the camera and 75 percent with the both. For the moving obstacle: 13 percent collided with it using no technology, about 40 percent with the sensors, 13 percent with the camera and less than 10 percent for the combo.

Parking sensors were found to be almost useless in these cases. The major problem was that they had a range of only around eight feet, which doesn’t give enough time to react. They were made even less helpful in combination with backup cams because drivers were less likely to look at the video display when they had a parking system.

“Right now cameras appear to be the most promising technology for addressing this particularly tragic type of crash, which frequently claims the lives of young children in the driveways of their own homes,” says David Zuby, the group’s executive vice president and chief research officer, in a statement on the official site of the IIHS. It also provides an abstracted view of the study and graph showing each system’s effectiveness. Take a look for the full results.

As read on: http://www.autoblog.com/2014/03/17/iihs-rearview-cameras-parking-sensors/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016&ts=1395058169

10 motorcycle safety tips for new riders – Expert advice for first-time and returning riders

Motorcycles are fun and fuel efficient. That’s not news to anyone who’s ridden one. But neither is the fact that they’re also way more dangerous than a car. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes.

The numbers are even scarier for older riders, who are increasingly taking up or returning to motorcycling after many years. Because of slower reflexes, weaker eyesight, more brittle bones, and other disadvantages, riders over 60 years old are three times more likely to be hospitalized after a crash than younger ones.

Still, many enthusiasts enjoy a lifetime of riding without injury. The key to optimizing your odds is to be prepared and avoid risks. Keep in mind that 48 percent of fatalities in 2010 involved speeding, according to the IIHS, and alcohol was a factor in 42 percent. Eliminate those factors and you’ve dramatically reduced your risk.

Below are some more tips to help you stay safe on two wheels. Learn more in our motorcycle hub, buying guide, and in our reliability and owner satisfaction report.

Don’t buy more bike than you can handle. If you’ve been off of motorcycles for awhile, you may be surprised by the performance of today’s bikes. Even models with small-displacement engines are notably faster and more powerful than they were 10 or 20 years ago.

When shopping for a bike, start with one that fits you. When seated, you should easily be able to rest both feet flat on the ground without having to be on tiptoes. Handlebars and controls should be within easy reach. Choose a model that’s easy for you to get on and off the center stand; if it feels too heavy, it probably is. A smaller model with a 250- to 300-cc engine can make a great starter or commuter bike. If you plan on doing a lot of highway riding, you might want one with an engine in the 500- to 750-cc range so you can easily keep up with traffic. (Before buying, see our report on motorcycle reliability and owner satisfaction.)

Invest in antilock brakes. Now available on a wide array of models, antilock brakes are a proven lifesaver. IIHS data shows that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without it. “No matter what kind of rider you are, ABS can brake better than you,” says Bruce Biondo of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Motorcycle Safety Program.

The reason is simple: Locking up the brakes in a panic stop robs the rider of any steering control. That can easily lead to a skid and crash, which can result in serious injury. ABS helps you retain steering control during an emergency stop, and it can be especially valuable in slippery conditions.

This critical feature is now standard on many high-end models and adds only a few hundred dollars to the price of more basic bikes. You may be able to offset some of the cost with an insurance discount. Either way, we think it’s a worthwhile investment in your safety.

Hone your skills. As Honda’s Jon Seidel puts it, “There is nothing we could say or advise more than to go find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) riding course in your area. That’s critical, absolutely critical.” An MSF course or similar class can teach you the basics, as well as advanced techniques, such as how to perform evasive emergency maneuvers. The cost ranges from free to about $350. An approved safety course may make you eligible for an insurance discount and, in some states, to skip the road-test and/or the written test part of the licensing process. Some motorcycle manufacturers offer a credit toward the cost of a new motorcycle or training if a rider signs up for an MSF course. The MSF website lists about 2,700 locations for such courses around the United States.

Use your head. Yes, helmets are an emotional topic for some riders. But the facts show the risk. Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries, than those with helmets, according to government studies.

When Texas and Arkansas repealed their helmet laws, they saw a 31- and 21-percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, respectively. “It is absolute insanity to repeal helmet laws,” says Orly Avitzur, M.D., a neurologist and a Consumer Reports medical adviser. “Because helmets do save lives, it is insanity to expose the skull and the brain to potential trauma that could be prevented or at least mitigated.”

A full-face helmet that’s approved by the Department of Transportation is the best choice. (Look for a DOT certification sticker on the helmet.) Modern helmets are strong, light weight, and comfortable, and they cut down on wind noise and fatigue. Keep in mind that helmets deteriorate over time, and may not be safe even if they look fine. The Snell Memorial Foundation, an independent helmet testing and standards-setting organization, recommends replacing a helmet every five years, or sooner if it’s been damaged or has been in a crash. Beyond potential deterioration due to aging and exposure to hair oils and chemicals, Snell points out that there is often a notable improvement over that time in helmet design and materials.

Wear the right gear. Jeans, a T-shirt, and sandals are recipes for a painful disaster on a bike. Instead, you want gear that will protect you from wind chill, flying bugs and debris, and, yes, lots of road rash if you should slide out. For maximum protection, go for a leather or other reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, and over-the-ankle footwear, even in summer. Specially designed jackets with rugged padding and breathable mesh material provide protection as well as ventilation for riding in warm weather. You’ll also want effective eye protection; don’t rely on eyeglasses or a bike’s windscreen. Use a helmet visor or goggles. And keep in mind that car drivers who have hit a motorcycle rider often say they just didn’t see them, so choose gear in bright colors.

Be defensive. A recent study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research found that in collisions involving a motorcycle and a car, car drivers were at fault 60 percent of the time. So, you need to be extra alert, especially in this age of epidemic phone use and texting behind the wheel. Keep an eye out for cars suddenly changing lanes or pulling out from side streets. And don’t tailgate; keeping a safe following distance is critical, both to ensure you have enough stopping distance and so you have time to react to obstacles in the road. An object that a car might easily straddle could be a serious hazard when on a bike.

Avoid bad weather. Slippery conditions reduce your margin for error. Rain not only cuts your visibility but reduces your tires’ grip on the road, which can make cornering tricky. If you need to ride in the rain, remember that the most dangerous time is right after precipitation begins, as the water can cause oil residue to rise to the top. And avoid making sudden maneuvers. Be especially gentle with the brakes, throttle, and steering to avoid sliding. When riding in strong side winds, be proactive in anticipating the potential push from the side by moving to the side of the lane the wind is coming from. This will give you some leeway in the lane, should a gust nudge you.

Watch for road hazards. A motorcycle has less contact with the pavement than a car. Sand, wet leaves, or pebbles can cause a bike to slide unexpectedly, easily resulting in a spill. Bumps and potholes that you might barely notice in a car can pose serious danger when on a bike. If you can’t avoid them, slow down as much as possible before encountering them, with minimal steering input. Railroad tracks and other hazards should be approached as close to a right angle as possible, to reduce the chances of a skid.

Be ready to roll. Before each ride, do a quick walk-around to make sure your lights, horn, and directional signals are working properly. Check the chain, belt, or shaft and the brakes. And inspect the tires for wear and make sure they’re set at the proper pressure. Motorcycle mechanics we’ve spoken with say they routinely see worn-out brakes and improperly inflated tires that greatly increase safety risks. When tires are under-inflated, “handling gets really hard, steering gets hard, and the bike doesn’t want to lean,” says Mike Franklin, owner of Mike’s Garage in Los Angles.

As read on: http://consumerreports.org/cro/2013/04/10-motorcycle-safety-tips-for-new-riders/index.htm

2014 Dodge Dart, Dodge Avenger, and Chrysler 200 — have achieved Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS)

Three Chrysler Group cars — the 2014 Dodge Dart, Dodge Avenger, and Chrysler 200 — have achieved Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the sixth time the IIHS has commended the Avenger and 200 mid-size sedans, and the third they have  hailed the Dart.

citrus-dartAll three cars have significant advanced-technology steel content, which enhances structural integrity. The Dart’s 68% content ratio of high-strength steel is among the highest in the industry, and also helps Dart to gain a five-star safety rating from the Federal government.  The Dart has also 10 standard airbags, unsurpassed in its segment.

To be an IIHS Top Safety Pick, a car must achieve a rating of “good” in the moderate-overlap frontal crash, side impact test, roof strength test, and whiplash test, and must rate “acceptable” or better in the IIHS’ new small-overlap front crashworthiness evaluation.

All available safety features on the Avenger and 200 sedans are standard, including supplemental side-curtain airbags for front and rear outboard occupants.

Only 39 vehicles, all together, were given the Top Safety Pick rating, down from 130 last year, due to tougher standards. The insurance-company-funded IIHS crash-tests around 80 vehicles per year, and now gives extra points to frontal crash avoidance systems (available in Dart and Chrysler’s large cars).

Honda had six winners, including two Acuras; Volvo and Toyota each had three (plus one Scion). GM’s only listed car was the Korean Chevrolet Spark. Toyota’s win for Camry was especially important to the company, since Consumer Reports is putting Camry back onto its “recommended” list as a result.  Overall, Chrysler’s showing was fairly impressive; the results for the 2015 model year may be different, as  the 200 is being replaced and Avenger will reportedly be dropped.

As read On: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2013/12/3-mopars-in-iihs-top-safety-picks