The previous generation Saab 9-5, which was in production for more than a decade, failed to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award during its entire run. Understandably, the 2011 9-5’s boost in safety credentials should be welcome news for the struggling Swedish automaker. The current 9-5, which launched last year, is the first vehicle launched by Saab following its split from General Motors (though it’s largely based on GM’s Epsilon II platform). Saab’s flagship sedan joins other Top Pick competitors such as the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Infiniti M, Hyundai Genesis, and Volvo S80.
The Volkswagen CC is back on the list after it failed to make the cut last year. The CC was launched in 2009 and earned its first IIHS’ Top Pick that same year. It should be noted that only the 2011 CC with front-wheel drive earned the award this year. The Institute found that the all-wheel drive CCs failed to make the cut during rollover tests due to its added weight. VW’s four-door “coupe” joins other midsize luxury Top Picks such as the Volvo S60, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lincoln MKZ, and the Audi A4.
The 9-5 and CC earned “Good” ratings in front, side, rollover and rear crash tests and both vehicles are equipped with electronic stability control, a requirement to earn the Top Pick award.