To qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award, the vehicle also must have an optional front-crash system with an advanced or superior rating. The iA's system earned an "advanced" rating.
"The iA avoided a collision in the 12 mph track test," the Institute said. "The system doesn't operate at higher speeds or include a warning feature. Although many vehicles now have front-crash prevention as an option, it is still relatively rare to have the technology standard and unprecedented for a vehicle as inexpensive as the iA."
The Institute noted that the iA is "the least expensive vehicle to come with standard front-crash prevention."
The iA's standard low-speed pre-collision system uses a laser sensor to help the driver avoid collisions and to help minimize damage in the event of an accident. The iA also features a standard brake override system, rearview camera and six airbags.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers should note that the Institute is just beginning to test 2016 models. The 2016 Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent have not been rated yet.