US lists safest cars of the year

The safest cars in the US are made by Ford, Subaru and Volkswagen, according to the insurance industry’s annual rankings released today.

The safest cars in the US are made by Ford, Subaru and Volkswagen, according to the insurance industry’s annual rankings released today.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its “top safety pick” to 19 passenger cars and eight SUVs for the 2010 model year.

Ford and its Volvo subsidiary received the most awards with six, followed by five each for Japanese maker Subaru and German Volkswagen its Audi brand.

Chrysler received four awards followed by two each for Honda and General Motors.

Toyota, BMW, Mazda and Mitsubishi failed to make the list.

Ford’s winners include the Taurus and Lincoln MKS passenger cars and the Volvo S80 and C30 passenger cars and the XC60 and XC90 SUVs.

Subaru’s Legacy, Outback and Impreza cars and Tribeca and Forester SUVs were listed.

The company , which has bucked the brutal US sales market with a 13% increase during the first 10 months of this year, attributed its safety success to a unique engine design that sits low in the vehicle chassis and moves down and under occupants in a frontal collision.

Volkswagen scored with the four-door versions of the Jetta, Passat and Golf, the Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Tiguan, a small SUV.

Chrysler won the award for the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger saloons equipped with optional electronic stability control, the Dodge Journey midsize SUV and the Jeep Patriot with optional side thorax air bags.

General Motors and Honda both received two awards.

GM was recognised for the Buick LaCrosse and the Chevrolet Malibu while Honda won for four-door versions of the Civic with optional electronic stability control and the Honda Element.

Other winners included the Nissan Cube, the Kia Soul and the Mercedes C Class.

The vehicles are selected for best protecting motorists in front, side and rear crash tests based on institute evaluations during the year.

The vehicles are required to have electronic stability control, or ESC, to qualify for the award.

Earlier this year, the institute said vehicles would need to receive its highest score in its roof strength evaluation to qualify the safety pick designation.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox