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http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080925/20080925005059.html?.v=1

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Four small cars, two midsize cars, two midsize SUVs, one large luxury car, one small pickup, and a midsize convertible are the latest winners of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's TOP SAFETY PICK award. Winners afford superior overall crash protection among the vehicles in their classes. To qualify, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of good in the Institute's front, side, and rear tests. It also must be equipped with electronic stability control.
"Criteria to win are tough because TOP SAFETY PICK is intended to drive continued improvements such as good crash test ratings and rapid addition of electronic stability control, which is standard equipment on 9 of the 11 new winners," says Institute president Adrian Lund. "Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results."

Winners by vehicle class


Small cars: 2009 Honda Civic with optional electronic stability control, 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer with optional electronic stability control, 2008-09 Scion xB, and 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit
Midsize cars: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta and 2009 Volkswagen Passat
Large luxury car: 2009 Lincoln MKS
Midsize SUVs: 2009 Ford Flex and 2009 Honda Pilot
Small pickup: 2009 Toyota Tacoma
Midsize convertible: 2009 Volkswagen Eos

How vehicles are evaluated

The Institute's frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of 40 mph frontal offset crash tests. Each vehicle's overall evaluation is based on measurements of intrusion into the occupant compartment, injury measures recorded on a Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat, and analysis of slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint system controlled dummy movement during the test.

Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier represents the front end of a pickup or SUV. Ratings reflect injury measures recorded on 2 instrumented SID-IIs dummies, assessment of head protection countermeasures, and the vehicle's structural performance during the impact.
 

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Good news.

The list of Top Safety Picks is here:
http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx

It's nice to note that the Vue, 2008 CTS, Saab 9-3, and Lambda SUVs also have Top Safety Pick status, and Ford has an impressive list of Top Safety Picks - probably more than any other automaker.

The Saturn Aura and Chevy Malibu (but not, unfortunately, the Pontiac G6) have the top IIHS ratings for front and side impacts, they just miss the Top Safety Pick rating because their head restraints are okay but not great. Since the new LaCrosse is based on a new version of the Epsilon platform, I'm pretty hopeful it will get a Top Safety Pick rating.
 

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i think it is strange that after all this extra cost for safety equipment in cars we still kill close to the same amount as we did before. till not wearing a seat belt is a jail offence the death rate will not change much no matter how much other safety equipment we are forced to pay for.
 

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It looks like this article only states the latest cars to make the list, There are many more at the IIHS site posted by Michael S above.
 

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i think it is strange that after all this extra cost for safety equipment in cars we still kill close to the same amount as we did before. till not wearing a seat belt is a jail offence the death rate will not change much no matter how much other safety equipment we are forced to pay for.
Wait, aren't there 200 million more vehicles on the road than in the 70's? Yeah, umm, your posting privileges are revoked.
 

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Good news.

The list of Top Safety Picks is here:
http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx

It's nice to note that the Vue, 2008 CTS, Saab 9-3, and Lambda SUVs also have Top Safety Pick status, and Ford has an impressive list of Top Safety Picks - probably more than any other automaker.

The Saturn Aura and Chevy Malibu (but not, unfortunately, the Pontiac G6) have the top IIHS ratings for front and side impacts, they just miss the Top Safety Pick rating because their head restraints are okay but not great. Since the new LaCrosse is based on a new version of the Epsilon platform, I'm pretty hopeful it will get a Top Safety Pick rating.
not many benz's or bmw's in there! they must be slipping
 

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The Saturn Aura and Chevy Malibu (but not, unfortunately, the Pontiac G6) have the top IIHS ratings for front and side impacts, they just miss the Top Safety Pick rating because their head restraints are okay but not great.
I'll admit, safety wasn't one of the highest criteria on my list when I bought my Malibu, but I'm glad to see I still made a good choice in that regard :yup:
 

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not many benz's or bmw's in there! they must be slipping
The IIHS tends not to test more expensive cars.

In European testing, it's my understanding that Mercedes typically does pretty well and BMW actually does not. BMW models sacrifice safety for lightness and performance.

If I was single, I wouldn't care. Since I'm a family man and would be using my car to haul the kids a lot, I'd favor a CTS over the 3-series or 5-series.
 

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Good news.

The list of Top Safety Picks is here:
http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx

It's nice to note that the Vue, 2008 CTS, Saab 9-3, and Lambda SUVs also have Top Safety Pick status, and Ford has an impressive list of Top Safety Picks - probably more than any other automaker.

The Saturn Aura and Chevy Malibu (but not, unfortunately, the Pontiac G6) have the top IIHS ratings for front and side impacts, they just miss the Top Safety Pick rating because their head restraints are okay but not great. Since the new LaCrosse is based on a new version of the Epsilon platform, I'm pretty hopeful it will get a Top Safety Pick rating.
When Chrysler has so many darts thrown at it, It is Good News that they had two of the three American entries in the bread and butter mid-size cars. They also had one of four mid-size SUVs and one of four small SUVs. Both were the only Americans entries.

Their drive lines may not be sophisticated, and merit rightful criticism; but their C & D segment platforms seem to be well engineered. Sebring, Avenger, Journey and Patriot at least have something to be proud about.

Marchionne is promising a major MCE for Sebring and Avenger including rectifying the drive-line criticisms, in a few months from now. Perhaps that will vault them into merit-able consideration as a competitive offerings, whereas today they are laggards.
;)

Personally, I have thought that the Patriot is the true and actual sized descendant of the the original AMC Cherokee. That was the tall wagon, partial unibody, 2 and 4 wheel drive, reasonable off-roader, meant for bad weather, snow, and occasional family off-roading. The Patriot varies in size from the original Cherokee SUV, by a few centimeters, at most, in every dimension. The AMC Cherokee was the Father of all other SUVs to follow from the world's automakers.
 

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so, stupid question here, but why does the fact that some of these vehicles have stability control installed even matter if they are testing crash ratings? Does the same vehicle without stability control perform any differently during these crash tests they administer?

Or, are they simply saying that if you vehicle has stability control, we automatically consider it safer even though it has nothing to do with our testing?

-Chase
 

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so, stupid question here, but why does the fact that some of these vehicles have stability control installed even matter if they are testing crash ratings? Does the same vehicle without stability control perform any differently during these crash tests they administer?

Or, are they simply saying that if you vehicle has stability control, we automatically consider it safer even though it has nothing to do with our testing?

-Chase
They automatically consider stability control safer. If you read their research brochures, the presence of stability control reduces the risk of fatal crashes 30% across the board - sedans, trucks, SUVs, minivans, etc... So the IIHS requires it to get a "Top Safety Pick" rating.

If you read their insurance losses by make and model for minivans for model year 2006-2008 ( http://www.iihs.org/research/hldi/composite_cls.aspx?y=2006-2008&cls=5&sz=5&sort=name ) the highest injury rates ( columns personal injury protection and medical payment ) by a very noticeable margin are for the Nissan Quest. The Quest has outstanding raw crash test scores: 5/5/5/5 from the US government and Good front offset, Good side compact pickup crash tests from the IIHS, but it is the only minivan for that time period without electronic stability control standard.
 

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so, stupid question here, but why does the fact that some of these vehicles have stability control installed even matter if they are testing crash ratings? Does the same vehicle without stability control perform any differently during these crash tests they administer?

Or, are they simply saying that if you vehicle has stability control, we automatically consider it safer even though it has nothing to do with our testing?

-Chase
But electronic stability control does affect the ratings. With it, you are less likely to be hit on the side. Front crashes allow the engineers crush zones and a better job of protecting passengers. Getting hit on a door, broadside, just doesn't ,and can't, provide similar protection. IOW, a 5 ratings for side impact is a lot lower gforce, than a 5 rating in a front crash.
 
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