The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the latest crop of automobile bumpers to see which ones stand up best in a low-speed crash. It tested 22 midsize, four-door 1991 models.

According to the May issue of CHANGING TIMES magazine, each car underwent four tests at five mph. They were driven forward and backward into a flat barrier; forward into an angled barrier; and backward into a pole.The bumpers on the Honda Accord also did the best job of protecting the body in the barrier tests and suffered the least damage.

Front and rear bumpers on the same car often perform differently. The institute rated each on its ability to absorb the impact and protect the car's internal components.

For a copy of the report, write to Bumpers, P.O. Box 1420, Arlington, VA 22210.

Ratings are: Vg for very good; gd for good; av for average; pr for poor; and vp for very poor.

The dollar figure is the total damage estimate. The first rating is for the front bumper; the second rating is for the rear bumper.

Honda Accord: $618; vg; vg.

Chevrolet Cavalier: $795; gd: vg.

Toyota Camry: $1,304; av; av.

Saturn SL2: $1,308; av; vg.

Mitsubishi Galant: $1,340; av; pr.

Dodge Monaco: $1,456; av; pr.

Chevrolet Corsica: $1,600; pr; gd.

Pontiac Sunbird: $1,969; av; av.

Oldsmobile Calais: $1,999; vp; gd.

Dodge Dynasty: $2,008; pr; pr.

Chevrolet Lumina: $2,129; av; vp.

Ford Tempo: $2,247; pr; vp.

Nissan Stanza: $2,284; av; av.

Pontiac Grand Am: $2,357; av; vp.

Buick Century: $2,381; vp; vp.

Buick Skylark: $2,546; vp; gd.

Ford Taurus: $$3,002; pr; vp.

Mazda 626: $3,096; pr; vp.

Oldsmobile Ciera: $3,113; vp; vp.

Pontiac 6000: $3,201; vp; vp.

Subaru Legacy: $3,266; vp; vp.

Hyundai Sonata: $3,298; av; vp.