Which vehicles are at the head of their classes when it comes to safety? According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2010 Dodge Journey, Lincoln MKT, and Mazda 3 are all Top Safety Picks.
"Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results," says IIHS president Adrian Lund. The IIHS ratings evaluate frontal offset, side impact, and rear-end collisions, and also mandate thatthe vehicle offers stability control.
Although the 2009 Mazda 3 didn't receive a Top Pick honor, the 2010 model - thanks to the inclusion of side-curtain air bags as standard equipment - represents a substantial improvement. 2005-2008 models without side airbags were given a "poor" rating in side impact collisions, while the 2010 models with the system achieved a "good" classification.