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IIHS Names Safest Cars On The Road

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(Source: iihs.org)

(Source: iihs.org)

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MIAMI (AP) –Honda Motor Co. has topped the insurance industry’s annual list of the safest new vehicles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Thursday gave 39 vehicles top safety ratings for 2014. That is dramatically fewer than the 130 on the list last year because vehicles now must meet tougher standards.

For the first time, the vehicles need top crash test scores and a good front crash prevention system, such as warning systems or automatic braking, to get its highest designation. Vehicles are now ranked as either a “Top Safety Pick” or “Top Safety Pick +” if they meet the front crash protection criteria as well.

Honda, which also owns the Acura brand, had the most winners of any automaker with eight of its vehicles making the list. The Honda Civic hybrid, Honda Accord, Acura RLX and Acura MDX all got the highest ranking. Its Honda Civic two-door and Acura TL were also ranked as top safety picks.

The list is often used by safety-minded car shoppers and by automakers in advertising.

There are eight newcomers to the list, including Infinity’s Q50, the Mazda 3, Toyota Highlander and the Chevrolet Spark mini-car. The Honda Civic Hybrid and several Volvo models won the top designation on the basis of standard equipment in their vehicles.

The IIHS’s rankings have been a catalyst in recent years for automakers to make their cars safer. Automakers are scrambling to bolster the front-end protection of their cars and trucks to meet the institute’s offset test, which measures how well a car protects people in a crash covering only part of the front end.

For example, Toyota redesigned the midsize Camry sedan, America’s top-selling car, so it could pass the test, the institute announced Thursday. The changes helped the Camry’s crash-test rating move from “poor” to “acceptable,” for all models built after Nov. 1, the institute said.

Here’s the full list:

Small cars
Honda Civic 4-door
Mazda 3 (built after October 2013)
Toyota Prius (built after November 2013)

Midsize moderately priced cars
Ford Fusion
Honda Accord 2-door
Honda Accord 4-door
Mazda 6
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback

Midsize luxury/near-luxury cars
Infiniti Q50
Lincoln MKZ
Volvo S60

Large luxury cars
Acura RL
Volvo S80

Small SUVs
Mazda CX-5 (built after October 2013)
Mitsubishi Outlander
Subaru Forester

Midsize SUV
Toyota Highlander

Midsize luxury SUVs
Acura MDX
Mercedes-Benz M-Class (built after August 2013)
Volvo XC60

Minivan
Honda Odyssey
Except for the Volvo S60, S80 and XC60 and the hybrid version of the Honda Civic 4-door, vehicles listed under TOP SAFETY PICK+ qualify for that award only when equipped with optional front crash prevention. Front crash prevention isn’t available on nonhybrid versions of the Civic.

Minicar
Chevrolet Spark

Small cars
Dodge Dart
Ford Focus
Honda Civic 2-door
Hyundai Elantra
Scion tC
Subaru Impreza
Subaru XV Crosstrek

Midsize moderately priced cars
Chrysler 200 4-door
Dodge Avenger
Kia Optima
Nissan Altima
Toyota Camry (built after November 2013)
Volkswagen Passat

Midsize luxury/near-luxury car
Acura TL

Small SUV
Mitsubushi Outlander Sport

Midsize luxury SUV
Volvo XC90

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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