Safest Cars from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Safest cars 2009Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) today released its top safety picks for 2009. The reward is given to vehicles that

do the best job of protecting people in front, side, and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also have to have electronic stability control (ESC), which research shows significantly reduces crash risk.

For 2009 model year, a total of 72 vehicles won recognitions from IIHS after going through vigorous tests that are designed to evaluate how drivers and passengers are protected in crash from all directions, front, side, and rear. According to IIHS, winners of this year’s awards come from all car categories and the number of vehicles getting the nod is twice as many as that of last year, a sign that automakers are improving the safety of the vehicles they build. Actually, that’s what this reward is all about: “providing incentives for manufacturers to offer safer vehicle designs that go far beyond basic federal standards.” For example, more cars now have side airbag as a standard safety equipment and electronic stability control (ESC) is also more common now than before.

Among the auto manufactures participating the test, Ford and its Volvo division won the most rewards at 16 while Honda and its Acura brand received 13 top picks. Chrysler, on the other hand, is the only major automaker that failed to receive a single reward.

Following is the list of 2009 model year cars receiving IIHS top safety pick. More details can be found in the status report (PDF file).

Large cars

  • Acura RL
  • Audi A6
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Ford Taurus
  • Lincoln MKS
  • Mercury Sable
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Volvo S80

Midsize cars

  • Acura TL, TSX
  • Audi A3, A4
  • BMW 3 series 4-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, Passat

Midsize convertibles

  • Saab 9-3
  • Volkswagen Eos
  • Volvo C70

Small cars

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


  • Honda Fit with optional ESC
  • Minivans
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Hyundai Entourage
  • Kia Sedona

Large SUVs

  • Audi Q7
  • Buick Enclave
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • GMC Acadia
  • Saturn Outlook

Midsize SUVs

  • Acura MDX, RDX
  • BMW X3, X5
  • Ford Edge, Flex, Taurus X
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Santa Fe, Veracruz
  • Infiniti EX35
  • Lincoln MKX
  • Mercedes M class
  • Nissan Murano
  • Saturn VUE
  • Subaru Tribeca
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser, Highlander
  • Volvo XC90

Small SUVs

  • Ford Escape
  • Honda CR-V, Element
  • Mazda Tribute
  • Mercury Mariner
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Forester
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

Large pickups

  • Ford F-150
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Toyota Tundra

Small pickup

  • Toyota Tacoma

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2 Responses to “Safest Cars from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety”

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