The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a non-profit organization funded by insurance companies that carries out research and produces ratings for popular passenger vehicles. Cars that are safety standouts can lower the amount insurance companies pay for bodily injury claims, thus making them lower risks to insure.
While it is early in the 2012 model year, we look at the safest 2012 cars based on published findings from the IIHS. In order to make the IIHS’ top safety picks, a model must score at least “Good” in all crash tests, which includes 40 mph front offset crashes, side crashes, rear crashes, and rollover crash ratings that access a vehicle’s roof strength.
The Chevy Sonic is an all-new subcompact sedan/hatchback in the American make’s lineup, replacing the Aveo and Aveo5. The Sonic is the only subcompact car sold in the U.S. that is also built in the U.S. The model features the compact Chevy Cruze’s 138 horsepower four-cylinder engines. However, because of its smaller size and weight, the Sonic has more brisk acceleration and better fuel economy.
The Sonic has standard side airbags. This model is a big safety improvement for Chevy as the Aveo scored only “Marginal” ratings in 3 of the 4 crash tests last year. The Sonic also has electronic stability control (ESC), which has been shown to help reduce vehicle collisions. Due to a new federal mandate, all new cars in 2012 must come standard with ESC.
The new 2012 Honda Civic has already received a “top safety pick” designation in the compact class. It offers brake assist among its many standard safety features. The 2012 Ford Focus has also already qualified. These models are also very fuel-efficient achieving about 40mpg highway.
Larger Safe Cars
The all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat midsize sedan has already made the list. The prior generation was also a top safety pick. The car really stood out in the rollover test, as its roof was able to withstand 6.3 times the car’s weight. The 2012 Passat features side airbags and emergency braking assist.
The Passat’s sportier sibling, the Volksagen CC, also made the list. One of the Passat’s competitors, the Ford Fusion, also has already been declared a “2012 Top Safety Pick”.
The luxurious 2012 Audi A6 has made the list. The A6 has adaptive headlights that turn as the car turns. This is a great safety feature at night. The 2012 A6 also has forward collision warning detection and is also a standout in rollover crash tests. The excellent 2012 Volvo S60 has also made the list.
Among SUVs and pickups, the 2012 Ford Flex is the only model thus far to be on the “Top Safety Pick” list.
Many More Safe 2012 Models
These are the models thus far the IIHS has deemed to be the safest 2012 cars. Many more models are expected to follow on the list as more test results are completed, analyzed, and published.
The increasing number of safety features is good news for car buyers. The IIHS had more cars on its 2011 Top Safety Picks than ever before. While new car buyers have different needs and preferences in vehicles, they really should strongly consider whether the vehicle they are considering is among the safest 2012 cars.
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