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  • 25 SUVs included in IIHS List of 2011 Top Safety Picks

25 SUVs included in IIHS List of 2011 Top Safety Picks

Michael Febbo
Dec 22, 2010
If there is one thing universally expected in a new car, it's safety. Although every manufacturer will tell you they build the safest cars on the road, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashes piles of cars every year to weed the marketing hype to get real, scientific results. Today, the organization released its Top Safety Pick results for 2011 model year vehicles.
Photo 2/14   |   2011 Volkswagen Touareg Crash Test
IIHS uses a combination of factors to determine the safest cars on the road. Crashworthiness is the biggest component in judging. Scientific metal on metal violence is the only way to get accurate results. Forty mph offset frontal impact, side, rollover and rear impact tests all combine to represent real world accidents to determine how cars fare. Besides rating cars on how they stand up in an accident. The IIHS also requires top picks that electronic stability control is at least an available option.
Photo 3/14   |   2011 Ford Explorer Front Test
The Volkswagen-Audi Group and Kia-Hyundai lead the industry in most Top Picks with nine different cars each. An impressive achievement for manufacturers who offer relatively few models. General Motors, Ford and Toyota all tie for a close second with eight cars each. Subaru put in a strong performance collecting 5 nods.
The entire list of 66 vehicles is below.
LARGE CARS
• Buick LaCrosse
• Buick Regal
BMW 5 Series (except 4-wheel drive and V8)
Cadillac CTS sedan
• Ford Taurus
• Hyundai Genesis
• Infiniti M37/M56 (except M56x 4-wheel drive)
• Lincoln MKS
Mercedes E Class coupe
• Mercedes E class sedan
• Toyota Avalon
• Volvo S80
SMALL CARS
• Chevrolet Cruze
Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional ESC
Kia Forte sedan
• Kia Soul
Mitsubishi Lancer sedan (except 4-wheel drive)
• Nissan Cube
• Scion tC
• Scion xB
Subaru Impreza (except WRX): sedan | wagon
• Toyota Corolla
Volkswagen Golf 4-door models
Volkswagen GTI 4-door models
MINICARS
Ford Fiesta built after July 2010: sedan | hatchback
MIDSIZE CARS
• Audi A3
Audi A4 sedan
• Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler 200 4-door models
• Dodge Avenger
• Ford Fusion
• Hyundai Sonata
• Kia Optima
• Lincoln MKZ
• Mercedes C class
• Subaru Legacy
• Subaru Outback
Volkswagen Jetta sedan
• Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
• Volvo C30
MINIVAN
• Toyota Sienna
LARGE SUV
• Volkswagen Touareg
MIDSIZE SUVs
• Audi Q5
• Cadillac SRX
• Chevrolet Equinox
• Dodge Journey
• Ford Explorer
• Ford Flex
• GMC Terrain
• Hyundai Santa Fe
• Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento built after March 2010
• Lexus RX
• Lincoln MKT
• Mercedes GLK
• Subaru Tribeca
• Toyota Highlander
• Toyota Venza
• Volvo XC60
• Volvo XC90
SMALL SUVs
• Honda Element
• Hyundai Tucson
Jeep Patriot (with optional side torso airbags)
• Kia Sportage
• Subaru Forester
• Volkswagen Tiguan
Source: IIHS

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