IIHS 2010 Top Safety Pick list

18Nov

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has introduced its picks for the safest cars for 2010. This study is done every year to determine which vehicles are going to do the best job protecting you and your family. For the first time this year a roof test was added to the criteria since a significant number of deaths due to a car crash are the results of a rollover.

The safety institute employed front, side, rear and now rollover to their crash test for 2010. The IIHS selected 27 cars in five categories for the award, down from the 94 vehicles tested last year thanks to the heightened roof strength standards. Subaru stands out as the only manufacturer to receive a top rating for all four crash tests in every vehicle class it competes. Multiple awards also came from Ford owned, Volvo and German automaker, Volkswagen.

In the roof strength test, a metal plate is pushed against 1 side of a roof at a constant speed. To earn a good rating for rollover protection, the roof must withstand a force of 4 times the vehicle’s weight before reaching 5 inches of crush. This is called a strength-to-weight ratio. For an acceptable rating, the minimum required strength-to-weight ratio is 3.25. A marginal rating value is 2.5. Anything lower than that is rated poor.

Testers say not to worry if your vehicle has not made the list. Although it is clear, some automakers are doing a better job with safety, all vehicles on the road meet the minimum safety standards. The IIHS says that whenever a new test is introduced, it takes about one year for most to catch up. By 2011 most vehicles will have caught up to the new rollover standard.

It’s worth noting that some of last year’s winners have not been tested for the rollover standard. Most notably, the Acura RL, TL and TSX, Audi A4 and A6, BMW 3-Series, Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, Saab 9-3, Toyota Avalon and Prius, as well as a wide range of midsize SUVs and small sedans, have yet to be tested.

25  out of the 27 winners can be found at a MileOne dealer near you. Visit MileOne.com for more information. See below for all 27 winners.

Large cars
Buick LaCrosse*
Ford Taurus*
Lincoln MKS
Volvo S80*

Midsize cars
Audi A3*
Chevrolet Malibu (built after October 2009)*
Chrysler Sebring sedan (with optional electronic stability control)*
Dodge Avenger (with optional electronic stability control)*
Mercedes C-Class*
Subaru Legacy*
Subaru Outback*
Volkswagen Jetta sedan*
Volkswagen Passat sedan*
Volvo C30*

Small cars
Honda Civic sedan (except Si) (with optional electronic stability control)*
Kia Soul
Nissan Cube*
Subaru Impreza (except WRX)*
Volkswagen Golf four-door*

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