IIHS Top Safety Picks

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson
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iihs top safety picks

Automakers are adding more and better safety features into new cars, right across their model lines. Needless to say, the insurance industry is down with that. According to MSNBC, the number of cars considered “safest” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has grown by nearly 300 percent. Last year, 13 vehicles made the list. This year, 34 new models can tout an IIHS “ top safety pick” award. Ford joined Honda on the virtual podium to claim the largest number of vehicles garnering the gong. According to the report, Toyota could have had 10 additional vehicles on the list (and Volkswagen four) if they offered better seat- and head restraint designs. Sidestepping the criticism, Toyota spokesperson Bill Kwong diverts your attention points out that their ‘08 vehicles have active headrests, which provide a “great level of safety for the customer in the real world.”

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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4 of 6 comments
  • Mgrabo Mgrabo on Nov 19, 2007

    SkiD666 - too bad so many of those models routinely slathered with optional NAV, DVD, etc that lack ESC, SIPS, etc. as standard features are all you can find on your friendly, neighborhood dealer's lot. Unfortunately, it's too often really difficult finding midlevel equipped cars with safety equipment when it's not standard...

  • Cavendel Cavendel on Nov 19, 2007

    SkiD666: They do take the ESC into account. They mention that the Ford Taurus makes the list if equipped with ESC. This looks like another non-scientific rating. They don't actually test the ESC. As long as the car has ESC and it performed well in the crash tests, it makes the grade. What if it is a crappy ESC?

  • Miked Miked on Nov 19, 2007

    I actually think the IIHS test is the least bad of all the tests out there. They actually want to know the risks of injuries because they advise insurance companies. The government crash tests are pretty meaningless and only exist to create a high barrier to entry for small new companies. Although, I do think that rather than giving star ratings (like the government) or good, acceptable, poor (like the IIHS), I think that all cars should be ranked. That way the manufacturers have something to compete with. Right now they only need to work hard enough to get a 5-star rating.

  • 210delray 210delray on Nov 19, 2007

    miked: IIHS DOES rank the vehicles. If you pick a class, say midsize moderately priced cars, they are listed in rank order.