Safety and smaller cars

A new round of metal-crunching crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that across the board, smaller cars aren’t only more fuel efficient, they’re also safe than ever.

Some of the cars that received top ratings are hybrid models with some of the highest fuel-economy ratings on the market.

"We hope that this makes a difference to people who are shopping in the market for smaller cars," said David Zuby, chief researcher for IIHS.

Six of 13 small cars tested won the top safety pick award. And none of the vehicles earned a poor rating. This is a big turnaround from just a few years ago, when headlines of light cars typically revolved around them being dangerous and unsafe.

Still, if safety is your number one priority, bigger cars are generally the safer bet.