5. Kia Rio
Claim frequency: 24.9
The Rio is one of Kia’s least expensive models. According to U.S. News and World Report, it’s also one of the least expensive cars to insure. However, it ranks as the fifth most dangerous car in the IIHS Status Report. In crash tests, a driver had a greater risk of rib and pelvis fractures and/or internal organ injuries.
4. Mitsubishi Galant
Claim frequency: 25.4
The Mitsubishi Galant is a midsize car noted for its affordability. The automotive review site Edmunds.com calls it “a decent choice for a daily commuter,” and its popularity in day-to-day commuting and smaller size may put it at risk for more accidents.
“Driving a smaller car can be tricky,” Brauer said. “The nature of an accident is that you don’t have any control over what happens, or what the size of the other vehicles involved will be.”
3. Chevrolet Aveo
Claim frequency: 26
According to the IIHS, the Chevrolet Aveo is involved in more accidents than the Aveo wagon, which appeared in the number 10 spot on this list. It received an IIHS rating of “acceptable” in moderate-overlap front test results and an “acceptable” rating in side-impact test results.
These are not stellar ratings, particularly when one takes into consideration that they derive from collision tests with cars of similar size or stationary objects. “As long as a small car hits another small car, or a stationary object, it’s OK,” Brauer said. “The problem is that there are still plenty of large, heavy cars out there.”
2. Suzuki SX4
Claim frequency: 26.6
The SX4 is a compact car manufactured by Suzuki. Its overall and dynamic ratings were both listed as “marginal” on the IIHS site, just one rank higher than “poor.”
Most of the vehicles with the highest frequency of personal-injury protection claims were mini-cars or small cars, the IIHS report said. Therefore, the SX4’s small size makes it a textbook example of the type of cars most frequently involved in accidents in which personal-injury protection claims are filed.
1. Toyota Yaris
Claim frequency: 28.5
The Yaris is one of the smallest cars manufactured by Toyota, and it has the highest claim frequency of any car in the IIHS report. In terms of its small size, it fits the profile of the other vehicles on this list, but at 28.5 claims filed per 1,000 insured vehicle years, it receives “about twice the average” number of PIP claims among 2009-2011 models, according to the IIHS.
The 2009-2011 Yaris models receive a score of “marginal” in their overall and dynamic ratings on the IIHS site.