There are a lot of different qualities that people look for when they are trying to choose a new car. Style, size, color, and functionality are a few of these qualities. Some people like to portray a certain image with the car they drive.
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It does not matter if the new car owner wants to appear sleek, sporty, or cool; one of the main concerns of all car owners is safety.
Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes finding the safest cars easier by compiling a list of the safest new cars in the United States.
We’ll let you know what the safest cars in America are today.
How a Safe Car Is Chosen for the List
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issues four ratings for four different safety categories. The four ratings issued are poor, marginal, acceptable, and good. These ratings are used to determine how well the car protects passengers in the event of a rear, side, and front impact collision, as well as vehicle rollover.
To make the annual list of the country’s safest cars, each vehicle must have a good rating in each category. The requirement of a good rating in the roof strength category for rollover is new for 2011. This new requirement has severely affected the number of cars that made the list this year.
This new requirement was added after numerous studies showed that roof strength was connected to the rate of serious injuries caused by vehicle rollover. To determine the quality of the car’s roof strength, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety uses a metal plate to push against the car’s roof at the rate of .2 inches each second.
The car’s roof must be able to withstand up to four times its own weight before the metal plate reaches a crush level of five inches for it to be given the good rating.
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The Car Safety Categories
After the list of the safest cars is compiled it is then divided into seven separate categories. These seven categories are: large cars, small cars, midsize cars, large SUVs, mini-cars, midsize SUVs, and minivans.
The category system makes it easier for new car buyers to choose the safest car by the type of car they are hoping to buy.
Since the sheer number of cars available today can be very overwhelming, this list makes it easier than ever for buyers to choose the best car.
The Safest Cars in 2011
There are more than fifty-five cars listed below. These cars will be divided into their size-specific categories.
The cars that are listed as the safest large cars in the United States are the Buick LaCrosse, the Buick Regal, the BMW 5-series (excluding the V8 and 4-wheel drive models), the Cadillac CTS Sedan, the Ford Taurus, the Hyundai Genesis, the Infiniti M37, the Infiniti M56, the Lincoln MKS, the Mercedes E Class, the Toyota Avalon, and the Volvo S80.
The safest small cars are the Chevrolet Cruze, the Honda Civic, the Kia Forte Sedan, the Kia Soul, the Mitsubishi Lancer (excluding the 4-wheel drive model), the Nissan Cube, the Scion tC, the Scion xB, the Subaru Impreza (excluding the WRX model) the 4-door VW Golf, and the 4-door VW GTI.
The safest midsize cars are the Audi A3, the Audi A4, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Chrysler 200, the Dodge Avenger, the Ford Fusion, the Hyundai Sonata, the Mercedes C Class, the Subaru Legacy, the Subaru Outback, the Volkswagen Jetta Sedan, the Volkswagen Jetta Sport Wagon, and the Volvo C30.
The safest midsize SUVs are the Audi Q5, the Cadillac SRX, the Dodge Journey, the Ford Explorer, the Ford Flex, the General Motor Company Terrain, the Toyota Venza, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Lincoln MKT, the Lexus RX, the Kia Sorento (the model that was built after March 2010), the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Mercedes-Benz GLK, the Toyota Highlander, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Subaru Tribeca, the Volvo XC90, and the Volvo XC60.
The safest large SUV is the Volkswagen Touareg, the safest mini-car is the Ford Fiesta that was built after July of 2010, and the safest minivan is currently the Toyota Sienna. There were no pickup trucks that made the safest car list in 2011.
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