The Toyota Corolla 1998 used to receive a 4-star frontal impact score from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, it had a far worse performance now compared to its newer edition.
Comparing a pair of Toyota Corollas - one from 1998 and the other from 2015 might sound ridiculous. This, however, dramatically demonstrates the improvements in vehicle and passenger safety over the years.
A head-on collision test between a 1998 and a 2015 Toyota Corolla
To assess the safety advancement of the 1998 Toyota Corolla, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) decided to conduct a test of head-to-head collision at 40 miles per hour between a 2015 Toyota Corolla and a 1998 model.
As a result, the 1998 Corolla model suffered “catastrophic structural failure” with clearly visible and severe damage to the passenger compartment. The front wheel actually pushed into the position of the driver and would certainly cause serious injuries because it doesn’t have any airbags.
The 1998 Corolla model suffered “catastrophic structural failure”
Meanwhile, the passenger compartment of the new Corolla had surprisingly little damage overall. The A pillar of the old Corolla is twisted like a pretzel. In contrast, the same area on the new Corolla has some waviness up top with a slight kink. That means most of the impact was absorbed by the front with just a little transferring to the passenger compartment.
The new Corolla has some waviness up top with a slight kink in the A pillar
In brief, car safety has come a long way in over the past 15 years. Basically, the person in the newer car would sustain moderate injuries while the person in the older car would likely have died.