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Posts from the ‘Top Safety Picks’ Category


Dodge Dart: Top Crash-Test Rating

The childishly-named Dodge Dart has earned a top crash-test rating by the Insurance institute for Highway Safety.

Being named IIHS’s Top Safety Pick will surely help Chrysler’s dream of the Dart becoming the automaker’s top selling car turn into a reality. To get such a rating, a vehicle has to perform well in front, side and read impact crash tests along with rollover tests. Talking about the honor, Reid Bigland, chief of Chrysler’s Dodge brand, said, “We had high expectations for the Dart and our engineers delivered.”

However, Chrysler should not grow too proud of the achievement. After all, being awarded the Top Safety Pick designation is not an unusual event. For the 2012 model year, 132 of the 180 vehicles that IIHS evaluated were given this designation.


The Best Vehicles for Child Safety Seats

Car seats. We curse at them. We fight them. We pound them and pull at them. However, we can’t live without them. We all know that our relationship with child safety seats is a troubled one; but does it need to be this way?

Do car seats really need to be so difficult to install and move from one vehicle to another? No, no, no, cry consumer advocates and safety monitors such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. They say that carmakers need to do more to make their vehicles car-seat friendly. They point to the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system that should be the industry standard and should make the installing and removing car seats a breeze.

Unfortunately, a recent survey of the top model year 2010 and 2011 passenger vehicles found that only 21 of 98 were equipped with easy to use latch systems. Speaking about the insidious evilness of the 77 vehicles possessing unfriendly latches, Anne McCartt, the Insurance Institute’s senior vice president for research, said, “Installing a child restraint isn’t always as simple as a couple of clicks and you’re done. Sometimes parents blame themselves when they struggle with latch, but oftentimes the problem lies with the vehicle, not the user.”

McCartt and others have put together a report and listing of which cars are the friendliest to child safety seats. To determine which vehicles are the best the evaluated how the clearance, depth and force needed to install the seats in each vehicle. Their findings are below.

2011 models that meet all 3 easy-installation criteria:

  • Audi A4 Quattro
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Chevrolet Equinox LT
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab LT
  • Chevrolet Suburban LT; Chevrolet Tahoe LS
  • Chrysler Town & Country (2010)
  • Dodge Caliber Mainstreet; Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab
  • Ford Escape XLT
  • Ford F-150 SuperCrew Cab
  • GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab SLE
  • Honda Pilot EX-L
  • Kia Sedona LX
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Mercedes-Benz C300
  • Mercedes-Benz E350
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe GS
  • Mitsubishi Lancer ES
  • Toyota Tacoma extended cab

The 2011 models that don’t meet any easy-installation criteria: Buick Enclave CX; Chevrolet Impala LT; Dodge Avenger Express; Ford Flex SEL; Ford Taurus Limited; Hyundai Sonata Limited; Toyota Sienna XLE.

Thanks for this guest post goes out to the team at and


2013 Mazda CX-5 Compact SUV IIHS’s Top Safety Pick

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the CX-5 its number one honor by naming it a Top Safety Pick. This all-new vehicle replaces Mazda’s larger CX-7 and also its Ford Escape-based Tribute.

Not only is the CX-5 compact SUV a safe vehicle, it is a highly fuel-efficient one hitting the highway with a 35MPG. This rating is the top fuel efficiency of any SUV in America. 

The IIHS awards are given to those vehicles that perform well on frontal, side and rear impact, rollover and roof-crushing testing.

The CX-5 was engineered to compete with Ford’s totally-new Escape, the Kia Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson.

Audi A3

Top 10 Safest Small Cars: Forbes, the publication that knows all things moneyed and business, has released another one of its useful lists: its ranking of the 10 safest small cars. This information is especially needed these days as more people are going small, since smaller cars are more at risk on the road than are larger vehicles. Audi A3

Although there were more than 32,000 road deaths in the U.S. in 2010, overall road deaths are forever ebbing lower and lower due to vehicles being safer and DUI and seatbelt laws stricter, road accidents are still the top killer of people between three and 34 years of age. Forbes’ list was made to help those interested in smaller cars remain on the roads. It was made through consultation with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a non-profit financed by the insurance industry, and its 2012 model-year list of “Top Safety Picks.”

Vehicles were evaluated for their performance in side, rollover, rear-end and front collisions. The vehicles were given scores of good, acceptable, marginal or poor for each type of collision.

Forbes’ top 10 safest small cars are:

  • Audi 3
  • Buick Verano
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Lexus CT 200h
  • Mazda Mazda3
  • Scion tC
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Toyota Prius

2012 Top Safety Pick: Chevy Sonic

The Chevy Sonic joins the Chevrolet Volt and the Chevrolet Cruze as a Top Safety Pick vehicle as confirmed by the IIHS. The Sonic has 10 airbags and received “good” scores on each of the four test types performed. Other safety features include LATCH system, six months of complimentary OnStar Directions and power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes with panic brake assist technology. Haven’t heard of the Sonic? It’s Chevy’s replacement for the outgoing Aveo.

Read the full article here:
2012 Chevrolet Sonic Named Top Safety Pick

2012 chevy sonic

Image by David Watson


New IIHS Top Safety Picks: Audi A6, VW Passat

The Audi A6, a large luxury car, and Volkswagen Passat, have both been redesigned for the 2012 model year. The A6 withstood a force equal to 4.9 times the car’s weight. The Passat withstood a force equal to 6.3 times the car’s weight. The A6 is a 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sedan, available in both front and all wheel drive configurations. Both of these cars have ESC as standard equipment.

Read the full article here:
Official: Audi A6 and VW Passat earn pair of IIHS Top Safety Picks

2011 audi a6

Image by NRMAdriversseat


IIHS Top Safety Pick: 2012 Ford Focus

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named the 2012 Ford Focus to their “Top Safety Pick” list. The 2012 Ford Focus features an advanced restraint system with innovative next-generation airbags providing better chest protection. The strong, stiff, lightweight steel of the 2012 Focus improves the cars dynamics with its minimized body weight and crash performance is greatly improved.

Read the full article here:
2012 Ford Focus is IIHS Top Safety Pick

2012 ford focus

Image by Stradablog


Saab 9-4X Crossover Earns Top Safety Pick Award

The big crossover joins Saab 9-5 Sedan which received the same accolade a few weeks earlier. Being a top safety pick the car ha achieved rating of Good, the highest score, in each test IIHS conducts to measure its safety. And the 9-4 managed to do just so with its unique body structure, purpose-designed for a crossover application and free from compromises through adapting an existing sedan or wagon format.

That’s also why the car offers a car like handling. That is also why the car shouldn’t be a very good off-road car. Saab 9-4x entry level price is $34,205 for front-wheel-drive and $48,835 for the 9-4X Aero XWD model.

“To achieve two Top Safety Picks in three weeks is, of course, extremely gratifying,” says Per Lenhoff, Head of Safety Development at Saab Automobile. “Our main priority is always the protection of real people in real accidents, but the IIHS tests are a valuable guide for consumers and it is important for us to achieve good results.”

Read the full article here:

Saab 9-4X Crossover Earns Top Safety Pick Award

Saab exhibition, 9-4X
saab 9-4x

Image by maol
Nya 9-4X på Saabs vårsalong 2011, Nacka Strand.


IIHS Issues Top Safety Picks To Saab and Volkswagen

The Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has become a coveted selling point for many automakers and a standard that American buyers look for in a new car. The IIHS continually evaluates new cars and recently gave its stamp of approval to the Saab 9-5 and the Volkswagen CC.

Both vehicles had earned the award in the past, but the most recent issuance came for the latest models of both. In order to receive the award a vehicle must receive the IIHS top rating of ”Good” in front, side and rear crash tests, have electronic stability control, and withstand four times its own weight in a roof crush test. The VW CC’s roof can withstand 4.4 times its own weight; the 9-5 can withstand 5.85 times its own weight.

The IIHS is always improving its already stringent testing methods. Every improvement made marks fewer fatalities on America’s highways. Kudos to every vehicle that earns the award.


Nissan Juke Garners Top Safety Pick Honors

Tastes vary and the Nissan Juke is designed for a certain taste. No matter how you feel about the small crossover, it has been rated as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

In order to be considered as a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle has to be given top rankings in several categories that include front, side, rear and rollover crash tests as well as be equipped with electronic stability control, brake assist, and anti-lock braking systems.

The Nissan Juke is even more attractive when you consider that it offers a combined 27 mpg. Comfort , style, and fuel efficiency all wrapped up in a Top Safety Pick. Nissan may just have a hit on their hands.