IIHS Reveals Largest List of Safest Vehicles

Welcome to the year 2011! As we make new resolutions on bettering our lives, some of us will be venturing into a new car dealership to refresh your transportation choice. While we attempt to change for the new year, 2011 vehicles have also resolved themselves to a new level of safety and security.

Whether calling it prudent public life-saving measures or some government-driven nanny-state, enhanced automobiles safety equipment was increased accident survivability and even the complete accident avoidance. For the 4th year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has strictly evaluated the latest automotive designs in a battery of tests. Facing off again frontal, bumper, side and rear collision crash tests, the IIHS also devotes attention to accident avoidance system in determining which popular vehicles are worthy of their most coveted Top Safety Pick honour. When purchasing a 2011 model year vehicle, new car buyers will find the most exceptional class of safe vehicles.

For the 2011 model year vehicles, 66 products represent the safest bunch ever evaluated all earning the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award. Consisting of a selection of 40 cars, 25 crossover vehicles and a single minivan (the Toyota Sienna), 10 of the total vehicles were also brand new designs for 2011. Presented as the largest list of Top Safety Pick vehicles compiled by the IIHS, the proliferation of top-rated automobiles is attributed to greater engineering as well as the continuing use of electronic stability control. In 2007, the IIHS Top Safety Pick criteria added to requirement of electronic stability control to be equipped on a vehicle. Since then, the United States government has mandated electronic stability control system on all vehicles by 2012.

The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg was a particular interesting inclusion as a Top Safety Pick. Rated as a large sport utility vehicle according the IIHS, it was not normal for such a vehicle to be evaluated. However, so optimistic on their Touareg’s construction, Volkswagen requested the the IIHS place the vehicle through the safety institutes’s paces.

Though the IIHS testing has resulted in some Top Safety Picks for a sizable selection of cars and Sport utility vehicles, a few automobiles categories continue to leave something to be desired. Following the 2010 test, only one minivan (the Toyota Sienna) earned a Top Safety Pick declaration. No small pickup trucks join the IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2011. Full-sized pickup trucks are also not represented in the Top Safety Pick class since the IIHS does not routinely crash test those type of vehicles.

The following list below are the latest IIHS Top Safety Pick vehicles:


Mini Car

Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback

Small Cars

Chevrolet Cruze
Honda Civic 4-door models
Kia Forte sedan
Kia Soul
Mitsubishi Lancer sedan
Nissan Cube
Scion tC
Scion xB
Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback
Toyota Corolla
Volkswagen Golf 4-door
Volkswagen GTI 4-door

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

Large Cars

Buick LaCrosse
Buick Regal
BMW 5 series
Cadillac CTS sedan
Ford Taurus
Hyundai Genesis
Infiniti M37/M56
Lincoln MKS
Mercedes E class coupe
Mercedes E class sedan
Toyota Avalon
Volvo S80


Toyota Sienna

Small SUVs

Honda Element
Hyundai Tucson
Jeep Patriot
Kia Sportage
Subaru Forester
Volkswagen Tiguan

Midsize SUVs

Audi Q5
Cadillac SRX
Chevrolet Equinox
Dodge Journey
Ford Explorer
Ford Flex
GMC Terrain
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento
Lexus RX
Lincoln MKT
Mercedes GLK
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Venza
Volvo XC60
Volvo XC90

Large SUV

Volkswagen Touareg

Information Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Photo Source: Volkswagen

About The Author

Admiring automobiles ever since childhood viewership of the TV show Knight Rider, Chris Nagy grew as an enthusiast enroute to become an automotive and motorsport writer. Drawn to the rich world of motoring, Chris discovers charm everywhere in the industry from supercars like the Bugatti Veyron to a Kia Soul. Car design, engineering, performance and the passion itself fuels his daily existence.

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