Hyundai and Volkswagen combined to earn 18 of 66 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the independent nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to reducing the incidents on American highways.
Hyundai and Volkswagen each had nine winning models, the most of any manufacturer.
The IIHS introduced more difficult standards for 2010, adding roof strength to its criteria by testing protection in rollover crashes.
“In just a year, automakers have more than doubled the number of vehicles that meet the criteria for Top Safety Pick,” said Adrian Lund, the Institute president. “That gives consumers shopping for a safer new car or SUV — from economy to luxury models — plenty of choices to consider in most dealer showrooms. In fact, every major automaker has at least one winning model this year.”
Rear crash protection, seat and head restraints, front and side evaluations were all added into consideration along with roof strength. Based on incident tests and ratings, IIHS´s list helps consumers to choose cars that offer the highest level of protection.
Here’s the list of top 2011 Top Safety Picks:
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.
Audi A3, Audi A4 sedan, Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 200 4-door, 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.
Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control, Kia Forte sedan, Kia Soul, Mitsubishi Lancer sedan (except 4-wheel drive), Nissan Cube, Scion tC, Scion xB, Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback (except WRX), Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf 4-door, Volkswagen GTI 4-door
Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback (built after July 2010)
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
Honda Element, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Patriot (with optional side torso airbags), Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Tiguan
Article Last Updated: December 23, 2010.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.