Hyundai, VW share top 2011 safety institute honors

James Raia

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:

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.

Midsize Cars
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.Hyundai, VW share top 2011 safety institute honors 1

Small Cars

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)

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

Article Last Updated: December 23, 2010.

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