Chevrolet's all-electric car is the first of its kind to earn high safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The safety group gave the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV the Top Safety Pick nod, one test short of its highest rating.
The electric hatchback earned good ratings in all five crash tests, including small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations; the Bolt's optional front crash prevention system earned a superior rating. According to IIHS, the Bolt automatically avoided a crash in tests at both 12 and 25 mph.
To earn the agency's Top Safety Pick Plus designation, a car's headlights must also earn a good or acceptable rating; the Bolt's headlights scored poorly. "They provide fair to good visibility but produce excessive glare for oncoming drivers," IIHS said in a statement.
The Bolt's main competitor, the Nissan Leaf, did not fare as well in IIHS testing. The 2017 Leaf failed to garner Top Safety Pick status because of a poor small front overlap grade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet crash tested the 2017 Bolt or the 2017 Leaf.