Volvo, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz dominate 2012 safest cars list

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With its auto content, Forbes.com likes lists. Its current offering, like much of its other car content, is subjective — the safest 2012 cars. Infiniti, Mercedes-Benez and Volvo, with three selections, dominate the list.

The subjectiveness of the list is not a criticism. It's subjective via the criteria used to make its choices, which, seem like the right criteria.

One of the strongest considerations is the designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway  Safety (IIHS).

For 2012, a total of 69 cars, 38 SUVs and three pickups made the non-profit's Top Safety Picks list, including 18 new recipients.

To qualify as an IIHS Top Safety Pick, a car must garner top scores for performance in front, side, rollover and rear-end crashes based on ratings determined by the IIHS’ evaluations. Vehicles are classified in each category on a basis of “good,” “acceptable,” “marginal” or “poor” performance.

According to Forbes.com "Unfortunately, testing is generally limited only to those vehicles having the highest sales volumes, meaning sports cars, exotic models and upper-strata luxury sedans like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class aren’t included in the IIHS rating system."

Forbes has also limited it selection to models that sell, at least in their base versions, for $50,000 or less.

Here's what Forbes.com said about one of its choices, the 2012 Audi A6:

"Recently redesigned, Audi’s A6 sedan covers all the bases with good looks, a comfortable interior, adept performance and a wealth of high-tech safety features that includes blind spot monitoring, lane departure, collision warning/avoidance and night vision systems. As with all the other models in our Safest Cars list, it's also an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2012 Top Safety Pick, which means it earns top scores in front, side, rollover and rear-end crash tests."

Here's the Forbes.com list for safest 2012 cars:

Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Infiniti EX 35, Infiniti M37/M56, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Volvo S60, Volvo S80, Volvo XC60

Here's the link to the Forbes.com article: Safest Cars for 2012

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