The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, Dodge Dart, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Lexus ES may not have much in common, but they've all just earned Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The two crossovers and two sedans scored a good rating in moderate overlap frontal, side, rollover, and rear impact tests to join a growing list of Top Safety Pick winners.
As the Dodge Dart compact continues trying to build sales momentum, becoming a Top Safety Pick will surely help. Though the Dart has not yet been safety tested by the NHTSA, the compact four-door joins other IIHS award-winners including the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte sedan, Mazda3, Volkswagen Jetta, Mitsubishi lancer (except Ralliart and Evolution models), Subaru Impreza, and Toyota Corolla.
As with its predecessor, the newly redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe crossover is also a Top Safety Pick. The Santa Fe hasn’t been NHTSA-tested yet, but definitely has ground to make up: the 2012 model got an overall three-star safety rating. Other Top Safety Pick midsize crossovers include the Kia Sorento, Dodge Journey and Durango, Ford Edge and Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Venza and Highlander, plus the Chevrolet Equinox as well as the GMC Terrain.
If those SUVs are a bit too big, the new Subaru XV Crosstrek might be more your size. Just like the Subaru Impreza on which it’s based, the XV Crosstrek is a Top Safety Pick. Other small crossovers with that designation include the Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Hyundai Tucson.
Thanks to a marginal rating in the IIHS’ rear test, the outgoing Lexus ES wasn’t a Top Safety Pick. The 2013 ES 300h and 2013 ES 350 now earn the IIHS award, which can also be said about the Acura TL, outgoing Lincoln MKZ, Buick LaCrosse, and Hyundai Azera. Since the new ES is based on the 2013 Toyota Avalon, we’d be surprised if that new large sedan doesn’t also get Top Safety Pick status.