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USA Today reports that the eight-foot, eight-inch Smart ForTwo has the most crush-resistant roof and the Chevrolet Aveo has the weakest among 2009 micro and minicars. The Smart earns the highest rating of good compared with acceptable for the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Mini Cooper and Toyota Yaris. The Aveo is rated marginal, the institute said. (That's the Smart, left, with a metal plate pushing against one side of the roof.)

Smart car executives didn't miss a beat in responding to the tests says USA Today. “As our society increasingly turns to small cars, smart proves that small can be safe,” said Dave Schembri, who heads Smart sales in the U.S. “This is the ninth standardized crash test performed by either the federal government or the IIHS that confirms the Smart ForTwo is safe.” Why do roof tests matter?

The institute says rollover victims benefit from stronger roofs. Vehicles rated good must have roofs that are more than twice as strong as the current minimum federal safety standard requires. The ratings, products of the institute's new roof-strength testing program, add to consumer information tests that rate vehicles for front, side, and rear crashworthiness. The roof test is designed to help consumers pick vehicles that will help protect them in rollover crashes.
 
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