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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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March 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm

This article need to be rad carefully. For those of you with rear end collison history please see the very first sentence of the second paragraph:

The test replicates a crash where the front corner of the car collides with an object such as a tree or utility pole.

Besides rear end collisions are generally more severe for the rear car because that is where the engine is located. The front car has trunk and engineered breakpoints to absorb the energy, hence, less damage.

March 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

These ratings should always be considered with the utmost skepticism, as there is a world of difference between a controlled test and a real-world accident. The best advice about crash worthiness can only come from fire/rescue crews and police - the experts who deal with accidents on a routine basis.

March 26, 2013 at 11:11 am

I'm another fool that thinks a Mercedes is safer than most if not all cars. My experience comes from an accident while driving my 1989 Mercedes SL Roadster, Person driving a small imported car crossed the center line and struck my car in the left front, my speed was about 30mph. I walked away with minor scratches and a few lumps, the driver of the other car was air lifted and the other person in her car was transported to a local hospital.

German cars are by far safer and better built.

March 26, 2013 at 10:05 am

The woman with the Mercedes is a fool. She wants to think her car is safe just because that is what she owns. All the cars take the same test and the tests don't lie ! It all means nothing in the end. We all have heard tips on how to avoid getting hit by lightning but freak things happen all the time. All cars are safe to an extent. Nothing is foolproof though ! These tests are sales literature. Pay attention at all times, know whats going on around you and use common sense and you will be safe even on a bicycle ! ! !

Dawn Sivert
March 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

I can't believe that I never see a Jeep listed as one of the
safest cars. Our 2007 jeep was re-ended and the car that hit our Jeep was totaled and our Jeep had a very minimal "dimple" in the rear bumper!

March 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

You are misleading people with these results. These cars don't have a chance ia a high speed collision or a collision with a truck. The German cars are far and away the safest, and to a lesser exent, the volvo.

Monika Hill
March 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

All good, but I only have a 2009 Mercedes Benz E 350. Had an accident on 12 March this year, all came to a stop on I 81 N, bad accident ahead. I avoided the Van in front of me, but was hit from the back on the left hand panel. Took out the complete quarter left back. I was shaken but OK. The picture I saw here today looked just like my car. The large truck tried to avoid me and pulled to the left. Since the truck was so long he still hit me. As far as I am concerned, nothing is as safe as the Mercedes. Maybe the newer cars!

March 26, 2013 at 8:30 am

WHAT re read your comments??!!

March 26, 2013 at 8:30 am

what?? re read you DA

jacqueline payne
March 26, 2013 at 7:59 am

I had a accident in or around sepember.It was the first time I ever had a air bag go on me,I never knew it looked like smoke and smelled so rutton. I hit a lady with my front end. Then a month latter we cam out of the store and someone had hit the same place as I had hit it. The ftrst time we had it fixed,but this time it wasn't as bad so we ftgured It has one more to go as things go in 3's. by the way my car is a 2013 hunda. love it but my husband say it't to small.It' like trying to clime into a bath tub.