Cars overall had the highest death rate of the main categories, at 48. They were followed by pickups (29), SUVs (25) and minivans (22).
The rate for small cars was 61.
“Smaller vehicles offer less protection for the driver in crashes, and their lighter mass means that they take the brunt of collisions with larger vehicles,” said Joe Nolan, senior vice president of vehicle research at the institute, a nonprofit group funded by auto insurance companies.
Broken down into subcategories, four-door minicars (108), large two-door cars (67), mini station wagons (65) and small four-door cars (62) had the highest rates. The lowest rates were among midsize station wagons (4), large four-wheel-drive luxury SUVs (5), very large 4wd SUVs (7) and midsize 4wd luxury SUVs (9).
Small cars — e.g., the Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Fiesta — accounted for 15 of the 20 models with the highest death rates for the 2017 model year, the report said.