ARLINGTON, VA - Enforcing tougher safety requirements this year, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) named 27 recipients of its 2010 Top Safety Pick awards — down from 72 models last year.

For the first time, good performance in a roof strength test to measure protection in a rollover is required to win. Nineteen 2010 model-year cars and 8 SUVs met the standards to gain the Top Safety Pick title, which recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting passengers in front, side, rear, and now rollover crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also must have electronic stability control, which research shows significantly reduces crash risk. This is the second time the Institute has tightened criteria since announcing the first recipients in 2005.

Subaru is the only manufacturer with a winner in all 4 vehicle classes in which it competes, according to IIHS. Ford and subsidiary Volvo have 6 winners, and Volkswagen/Audi has 5. Chrysler earns 4 awards, continuing a recent trend of improving the crashworthiness of its vehicles. Two new small cars, the Nissan Cube and Kia Soul, join the Top Safety Pick list for 2010.

The following models were recognized as 2010 Top Safety Pick vehicles:

Large Cars
Buick LaCrosse
Ford Taurus
Lincoln MKS
Volvo S80

Midsize Cars
Audi A3
Chevrolet Malibu (built after November 2009)
Chrysler Sebring 4-door (with optional electronic stability control)
Dodge Avenger (with optional electronic stability control)
Mercedes C Class
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback
Volkswagen Jetta sedan
Volkswagen Passat sedan
Volvo C30

Small Cars
Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control
Kia Soul
Nissan Cube
Subaru Impreza except WRX
Volkswagen Golf 4-door

Midsize SUVs
Dodge Journey
Subaru Tribeca
Volvo XC60
Volvo XC90

Small SUVs
Honda Element
Jeep Patriot with optional side torso airbags
Subaru Forester
Volkswagen Tiguan

Click here for more information on the Top Safety Picks.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet