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6 cars get top crash-test rating

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Six more cars have earned the top crash-test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS. The agency has been testing 2013 and 2014 model year vehicles with the new test -- the small overlap front crash test -- throughout this year, and many cars have not scored well.

The test replicates a crash where the front corner of the car collides with an object such as a tree or utility pole. Cars that get top marks in crash tests often have lower car insurance rates than similar models with lower crash test scores, since these cars tend to protect their occupants from injury better.

The five cars that did get the top rating, top safety pick plus, all scored well in the new test. The five vehicles were the Honda Civic coupe, Honda Civic sedan, Lincoln MKZ, Mazda 6, Subaru Forester and Volvo XC90. All the cars were 2013 model year vehicles, except for the Mazda 6 and Subaru Forester, which are 2014 models.

The 2013 Honda Civic is the first small car to receive the top safety pick plus rating since the IIHS added the new test, and Honda made upgrades to the front structure to improve its performance in the crash test. Volvo engineers made computer changes to the XC90's air bag algorithm that deploys the side curtain air bag to improve its performance during a crash.

Do you drive any of these cars? Do you feel safer driving them?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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August 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

The only reliable crash test organization is the completely independent Insurance Institute of Highway Safety ... They invented the frontal partial offset crash test which is now a standard for crash testing yet most other organizations are not using it.

Scott Hooper
March 27, 2013 at 4:19 am

Do not buy a Lexus IS 250 or 350. I had a rear end collison 1/13 at 23 mph and no air bags performed. The company treated me with total disregard and claimed in a letter that the airbags acted as they were supposed too. No one @ Lexus or Toyota cared. The car was a total loss.The front end folded like an accordian. I have injuries that still have not healed. Over 12,500 in medical bills.

March 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Safest car, best mileage, highest resell value, so many considerations. I would go with best defensive driver, so many crazies out there.

alfred b jones
March 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm


March 26, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Unless you are looking at a complete test report, such as the one I viewed at Summit NJ last week, showing photos of the tests, you have not the facts necessary for such comparisons. Yes, Volvo was the best, and the numerous reasons are all there in black and white.

March 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Consumer Reports is ignoring the fact that most Toyota's failed the very common IIHS slight offset crash test. These accidents are responsible for taking many lives and Consumer Reports still recommends Toyota’s that failed. Consumer Reports has a reliability survey that is exclusive with paying members of the biased CR magazine. Reputable organizations such as J. D. Powers send their surveys to a random audience as it should be. CR is not legit; they cater to the demographic of their customers to sell more magazines.

March 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Honda cost to much. If car company were about safety it would be on all cars no matter what the cost. It just depends on who paying for the poll being taken. Honda a good car but not better than the rest. Over price, over rated. PERIOD !!!!

Crash Cozilla
March 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Many people are very unhappy that the automobiles they own are the listed as the safest ones. For many many years . Again and again. VOLVO (better know as the box)has always been the leader .

March 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I have been in two rear-end crashes in my Honda CIVIC. Both were between 35-40 mph (while I was at a complete stop), and both were either SUVs or Large contractor/construction vehicles. I have walked away from both, and my CIVIC has yet been "totalled". You can disregard these results all you want - but I'll stick with what works! BTW, I saw a german car get T-bone another car yesterday, yeah - my car is STILL in better shap than whats left of german car!