IIHS announces 2007 Top Safety Pick awards – 13 vehicles many are SUV's

IIHS announces 2007 Top Safety Pick awards – 13 vehicles many are SUV's

2007 Honda CR-V

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released the Top Safetypick awards for 2007, which included 4 cars, 7 SUVs, and 2 minivans. The 13 vehicles were cited for safety excellence by doing the best job at safety when in a front, side and rear crashes. These tests along with a required electronic stability control (ESC) were the criteria for IIHS to narrow down the 13 safest vehicles for 2007. Pickups were not included in the testing because they have not determined the side crash safety.

The required electronic stability control (ESC) is now a must have criteria for being selected and is new requirement for 2007. ESC significantly has shown to reduce crash risk and especially when involving fatal single-vehicle crashes. The ESC system help aid a driver when driving in emergency maneuvers that could otherwise cause the car to spin or roll out of control. Last year, 2006 models won that did not have ESC, because they did well under crash tests, but this year they wouldn’t win because they do not have ESC installed.

There were no small car winners this year. Last year the Honda Civic won, but because most models do not have ESC it didn’t make the cut this year. Honda did take three of the 13 winning vehicles for 2007, including the Acura SUV.

IIHS points out that most vehicles that win on Top Safety Pick award is usually the larger heavier vehicles because they survive better when in a crash. They do not pinpoint top picks for each car size category.

The automakers use the data from the IIHS to improve the safety of their vehicles. Side testing and rear crash testing is relatively new additions to the evaluation. IIHS reports that vehicles have significant differences in side and rear crash test. Most all cars perform well in front crash tests.

All of the 2007 Top Safety Pick winners have standard side airbags. Improvements need to be for automakers to improve on seat/head restraints. IIHS reports that in the coming years more vehicles will win the award.

Here is a list of the thirteen 2007 Top Safety Pick winners.

Large car
Audi A6 manufactured in Dec. 2006 and later

Midsize cars
Audi A4
Saab 9-3
Subaru Legacy equipped with optional electronic stability control

Minivans
Hyundai Entourage
Kia Sedona

Luxury SUVs
Mercedes M class
Volvo XC90

Midsize SUVs
Acura RDX
Honda Pilot
Subaru B9 Tribeca

Small SUVs
Honda CR-V
Subaru Forester equipped with optional electronic stability control

When shopping for your new car this year, check to make sure that the vehicle has ESC installed. This was one of the best safety features that IIHS emphasized, the other features to look for is side air bags and proper head/seat restraints.

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