The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says some popular small cars on the road don't make the grade in overlap crashes, where part of the car's front end strikes an object.
Of the 12 small cars put to the test, the Honda Civic received the top grade.
The head and chest of the test dummy was protected, the airbag released on time and structure of car did not cave in on the driver side.
The Kia Forte performed the worst, according to the report.
The group says manufactures have built cars to best absorb impact in the center.
Along with the Honda Civic, the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus Hyundai Elantra and Scion TC passed the test.
The Chevrolet Sonic, Volkswagen Beetle, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sentra, Kia Soul and Forte all performed poorly, according to the report.