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The 2013 Honda Civic is the only small car to get a top score on a new crash test that simulates a severe front-end crash, while the 2014 Kia Forte was the worst performer, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The 2013 Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and 2014 Scion tC earned acceptable ratings.

The IIHS did not test the Toyota Corolla in this round because the automaker plans to release a redesigned 2014 model in August, Edmunds reports.

Both two-door and four-door versions of the Civic earned the top score in the test, a "small overlap" crash test. The test replicates a crash in which the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole at 40 mph. The IIHS released the results of its latest round of testing last week.

IIHS engineers said in a YouTube video that the 2014 Kia Forte test resulted in a "horrendous" crash with intrusion into the occupant compartment.

The 2013 Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and 2014 Scion tC earned acceptable ratings. The 2013 Nissan Sentra, Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte all received a "poor" rating. The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic, Volkswagen Beetle and Chevrolet Cruze earned a "marginal" rating.

The IIHS did not test the Toyota Corolla in this round because the automaker plans to release a redesigned 2014 model in August.

"As a group, small cars fared worse than their midsize moderately priced counterparts in the same test but better overall than small SUVs," said the IIHS in a statement.

In the worst cases safety cages collapsed, driver airbags moved sideways with unstable steering columns and the dummy's head hit the instrument panel. Side curtain airbags didn't deploy or didn't provide enough forward coverage to make a difference. All of this adds up to marginal or poor protection in a small overlap crash."

In the case of the Honda Civic, the IIHS said "dummy movement during the test was well-controlled and both cars had only minimal intrusion into the occupant compartment, so survival space for the dummy was well-maintained."

The 2013 Honda Civic four-door earned the highest five-star rating in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2013 Honda Civic two-door earned four out of five stars in the NHTSA test.

The 2014 Kia Forte earned four out of five stars in crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Civic, Dart, Elantra, Focus and tC earn the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. The award recognizes models with "superior crash protection."

When you're buying a new vehicle do you ask about safety ratings?