- The 2015 Kia Soul hatchback received some structural improvements and earned the 2014 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick award.
- To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection and good ratings in the Institute's moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.
- The 2015 Kia Forte small car also improved in the latest round of Institute testing, but only to a "marginal" rating.
To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection and good ratings in the Institute's moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.
"In the test of the 2015 Soul, the driver space was maintained reasonably well with a small amount of intrusion," the Institute said. "All measurements recorded on the dummy indicated a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity."
"Compared with the 2014 model, one of the worst performers of any vehicle tested by IIHS for small overlap protection, the 2015 model fared much better, but its overall rating still is only marginal," said IIHS in a statement on Tuesday.
The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or a utility pole.
"Even with the stronger occupant compartment, the driver's space wasn't maintained well, with intrusion approaching eight inches at the lower hinge pillar," the Institute said.
"The dummy's head slid off the frontal airbag and struck the instrument panel, as the safety belt allowed too much forward motion."
The 2015 Kia Forte sedan earned the top five-star safety rating from NHTSA, but the hatchback has not yet been rated.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers get some important safety information about the 2015 Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte.