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IIHS Announces 2011 Top Safety Picks; VW, Hyundai-Kia Top List

If there is one thing universally expected in a new car, it’s safety. Although every manufacturer will tell you they build the safest cars on the road, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashes piles of cars every year to weed the marketing hype to get real, scientific results. Today, the organization released its Top Safety Pick results for 2011 model year vehicles.

IIHS uses a combination of factors to determine the safest cars on the road. Crashworthiness is the biggest component in judging. Scientific metal on metal violence is the only way to get accurate results. Forty mph offset frontal impact, side, rollover and rear impact tests all combine to represent real world accidents to determine how cars fare. Besides rating cars on how they stand up in an accident. The IIHS also requires top picks that electronic stability control is at least an available option.

The Volkswagen-Audi Group and Kia-Hyundai lead the industry in most Top Picks with nine different cars each. An impressive achievement for manufacturers who offer relatively few models. General Motors, Ford and Toyota all tie for a close second with eight cars each. Subaru put in a strong performance collecting 5 nods, with the surprise being that the Imprezza is chosen while the WRX models are not.

The entire list of 66 vehicles is below.

LARGE CARS

SMALL CARS

MINICARS

  • Ford Fiesta
    built after July 2010:
    sedan | hatchback

MIDSIZE CARS

MINIVAN

LARGE SUV

MIDSIZE SUVs

SMALL SUVs

Source: IIHS

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Buying Guide

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Fair Market Price $11,015 GLS (Manual) Sedan
Motor Trend Rating
StarStarStarStarHalf-Star

EPA MPG:

22 City / 35 Hwy

Safety (NHTSA):

★★★★★

Horse Power:

198 @ 6300