Is Your Car Safe?

Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts thousands of crash tests to determine which cars are the safest.

These tests give insurers a clear idea how well vehicles will protect occupants in front, side, and rear collisions. If you own a car that performs well in an accident you're more likely to save money when you buy auto insurance.

2009 Top Safety Picks
Overall, the IIHS awarded 72 vehicles as 2009 Top Safety Picks, which is almost double the number in 2008.

Small Cars
Generally, small cars usually don't score as high as larger one's because they don't offer as much structural protection. Still, in 2009 six vehicles were noted as Top Safety Picks including:

  • Honda Civic 4-door with optional ESC
  • Mitsubishi Lancer with optional ESC
  • Scion xB
  • Subaru Impreza with optional ESC
  • Toyota Corolla with optional ESC
  • Volkswagen Rabbit 4-door

Mid-Size Cars
Mid-size passenger cars offer a nice blend of comfort and safety as evidenced by the thirteen 2009 Top Safety Picks:
  • Acura TL and TSX
  • Audi A3 and A4
  • BMW 3 series 3-door
  • Ford Fusion with optional ESC
  • Honda Accord 4-door
  • Mercedes C class
  • Mercury Milan with optional ESC
  • Saab 9-3
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Volkswagen Jetta and Passat

Large Cars
Large passenger cars that made the cut include:
  • Acura RL
  • Audi A6
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Ford Taurus
  • Lincoln MKS
  • Mercury Sable
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Volvo S80

Minivans, SUVs and Pick-Ups
Minivans earning top marks were the Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Entourage, and Kia Sedona.

In 2008, only one Small SUV earned Top Safety Pick but in 2009, ten winners were announced:
  • Honda Element
  • Honda CRV
  • Ford Escape
  • Mazda Tribute
  • Mercury Mariner
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Forester
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

The number of Mid-Size SUVs tripled from 2008 to 2009:
  • Acura MDX and RDX
  • BMW X3 and X5
  • Ford Edge, Flex, and Taurus X
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Santa Fe and Veracruz
  • Infiniti EX35
  • Lincoln MKX
  • Mercedes M class
  • Nissan Murano
  • Saturn VUE
  • Subaru Tribeca
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser and Highlander
  • Volvo XC90

2009 marked the first time Large SUVs made their way onto the list. These winners include Audi Q7, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook.

Finally, the Toyota Tacoma was the only Small Pick-Up to receive top marks while the Ford-150, Honda Ridgeline, and Toyota Tundra were winners in the large pickup category.

If you are interested in seeing how well a particular make and model stands up in a collision, you should visit the IIHS website to see how your vehicle or prospective vehicle stacks up.

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