PITTSBURGH (CBS) — A new round of crash tests finds many small cars don’t perform well in front-end collisions.

Only one model gets the top ranking of “good” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Honda Civic earned the top safety rating in a new kind of crash test.

For the first time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted what it calls small overlap crash tests to see how the front corner of small cars holds up during a collision. That area isn’t always designed to absorb a crash’s impact.

David Zuby of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says this type of collision causes 25 percent of serious injuries in frontal crashes.

“We still kill close to 9,000 people every year in frontal crashes, so this is one of the remaining problems,” Zuby said.

The Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and the 2014 Scion TC all received acceptable ratings. But some popular models did not do well in the safety evaluations.

The Chevrolt Sonic, Volkswagen Beetle, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sentra, Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte all received marginal or poor ratings. But the agency says drivers of those cars should not be too concerned.

“All the cars we tested today are very safe by virtue of the tests we’ve been running for years,” Zuby said.

The agency says these tests will simply help car companies make safe cars that much safer.

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