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Crash test: Big old Volvo vs. small new microcar

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It was from this week's Fifth Gear, and you can download it from BitTorrent or see it on YouTube in a few days, but here's the text and picture online preview. Basically they crashed a '92 Volvo 940 wagon into an '04 Renault Modus supermini. The Volvo weighs 700+ more lbs and is 40" longer than the Renault...

On TV

Fifth Gear conducts a fascinating world's first crash-test and even the experts can't predict the outcome. Where are you safer - a big old car, or a small new one?

We crash a 15 year old Volvo 940 estate, for many people the epitome of a solid and safe family car, into a 3 year old Renault Modus, notable as the first small car to earn a maximum 5 Star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP).

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Each vehicle will be travelling at 40mph, so the energy involved is huge. After the test it's clear only one of the drivers would have stood a strong chance of survival. Essential viewing for every motorist.

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Basically the Modus's passenger cell holds up, with minimal intrusion into the cabin, while the 940's collapses quite a lot more, trapping the dummy inside. It's amazing how much modern car safety has improved, whether it's for accident avoidance, frontal collisions, rear whiplash, or side crashes. Mass still matters (or at least for head-on crashes), but technology can more than make up for it.

Edited by empowah
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The Volvo isn't THAT much heavier. Crash test a true fullsize car or even a midsize SUV against a minicar.

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That's not fair... the Suburban is a truck.

But how about a 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood against a Smart car? :P

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That's not fair... the Suburban is a truck.

But how about a 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood against a Smart car? :P

Or better B59 against any French Sh#t.

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The Volvo isn't THAT much heavier. Crash test a true fullsize car or even a midsize SUV against a minicar.

This is Europe... a Volvo 940 is full sized.

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