Japanese and German automakers dominate safest car list in US

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

IIHS Names Latest Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick Vehicles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Thursday that 48 vehicles earned its highest rating of “Top Safety Pick Plus.” That’s up from 33 a year ago. A widely read list of top automotive safety picks for 2016 was released Thursday, and out of 48 model cars and SUVs tested, six Subarus made the list, while only one American model qualified — the Chrysler 200 sedan. Vehicles must now score a Good rating in the small overlap front test, and they still must score Good in the moderate overlap front crash, side crash, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

In order to meet the requirements for the more stringent Top Safety Pick+ designation, a vehicle must meet the above standards and also have, as standard or optional equipment, a frontal collision autobraking system that scores as Advanced or Superior. The increased requirements to qualify for the awards directly reflect the effort to influence auto manufacturers to improve vehicle crashworthiness and promote the availability of front crash protection systems that can mitigate injuries. The institute says several vehicles added automatic braking in 2016 so they could compete for the top prize, including the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon. The IIHS, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Consumer Reports agree that forward collision systems with both a warning and autobraking should be standard on all cars in the near future. The aim is to re-create real-world crash situations where vehicles rarely hit objects head-on, but rather “catch a corner,” as IIHS spokesman Adrian Lund, describes it. “Crashes are not really nice, symmetrical affairs,” said Lund, explaining why his organization has long placed high value on the partial front collision. “You often get crushing of the relatively soft front parts of the car.

But on Tuesday the NHTSA said it would implement a five-star rating system that includes a so-called frontal oblique crash test that measures angled front crashes, among other changes. But in September, 10 major automakers and the NHTSA agreed to a timeline for making the front-end crash-avoidance technology standard in all new cars the same way seat belts and air bags have become commonplace. Small cars: Acura ILX, Lexus CT 200h, Mazda3, Subaru Crosstrek, Subaru Impreza, Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Golf (four-door and SportWagen models), and Volkswagen GTI (4-door) Midsize moderately priced cars: Chrysler 200, Honda Accord coupe, Honda Accord sedan, Mazda 6, Nissan Maxima, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius V, Volkswagen Jetta, and Volkswagen Passat Large luxury cars: Acura RLX, Audi A6 (built after January 2015), Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti Q70 (not V8 AWD models), Lexus RC, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Volvo S80 Two years ago, the IIHS gave the Subaru Legacy and Subaru Outback high marks for its EyeSight Driver Assist System, citing a superior front-crash avoidance system.

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