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Top Safety Picks for 2013

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On: Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 3:19PM | By: Chris Weiss

Top Safety Picks for 2013

Last year, the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety introduced the new Top Safety Pick + award, which encompasses the new small overlap frontal test. It announced the first wave of awardees in late 2012, beginning with the mid-size luxury and mid-size moderately priced categories. 

"To qualify for the 2013 Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must earn good ratings for occupant protection in at least 4 of 5 evaluations and no less than acceptable in the fifth test," explains the IIHS. In addition to the small overlap test, those evaluation categories are the moderate overlap frontal crash, side impact, rollover test, and evaluation of seat/head restraints in rear impacts.

The original winners were the 2013 Acura TL, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200 4-door, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord 2-door, Honda Accord 4-door, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima 4-door, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Suzuki Kizashi, Volkswagen Passat, and Volvo S60.

"Of the 29 models evaluated so far in our small overlap frontal crash test, these 13 cars offer the highest level of all-around crash protection," said Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "We're pleased to recognize them with our new Top Safety Pick+ award for 2013."

The small frontal overlap test was introduced to scrutinize occupant protection in frontal crashes. It replicates what happens when the front corner of a car crashes with another vehicle or object. According to IIHS, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and Volkswagen made improvements to their models to improve their performance in the test. Some changes, such as those on the Subaru and Volkswagen models, were implemented after production had already begun, so the Top Safety Pick + award is limited to models built after certain months.

Earlier this month, the IIHS added an additional half-dozen vehicles to the Top Safety Pick + list. The 2014 Subaru Forester scored the award in the small SUV category. The 2013 Honda Civic 2-door and 4-door became the first small cars to win the award two days later and were joined by the 2013Volvo XC60, a mid-size luxury SUV, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ,a mid-size luxury car, and the 2014 Mazda6, amid-size moderately priced car.

TOP SAFETY PICK+ award winners (all 2013 models unless otherwise noted):

Midsize moderately priced cars

Chrysler 200 4-door

Dodge Avenger

Ford Fusion built after Dec. 2012

Honda Accord 2-door

Honda Accord 4-door

Kia Optima

Nissan Altima 4-door built after Nov. 2012

Subaru Legacy built after Aug. 2012

Subaru Outback built after Aug. 2012

Suzuki Kizashi

2014 Mazda6

Midsize luxury/near luxury cars

Acura TL

Lincoln MKZ

Volvo S60

Small cars

Honda Civic 2-door

Honda Civic 4-door

Midsize luxury/near luxury SUV

Volvo XC60

Small SUV

2014 Subaru Forester

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