Tim McElhinny, CIC, LUTCF
Partner, McElhinny Insurance Agency, LLC
Automakers have stepped up safety. Ten new vehicles have joined the 2011 TOP SAFETY PICK winners list from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for a total of 66 winners. One of them is the 2011 Ford Explorer, which joins, for the first time, previous and current Ford SUV winners: the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT. The all-new Ford Fiesta is the only minicar to earn the TOP SAFETY PICK in 2011.
What’s not on the list? Pickups. None of the small pickups the Institute evaluated qualified for this year's award, and large pickups haven't yet been tested.
The front-running automakers on the list are Hyundai/Kia and Volkswagen/Audi who each have 9 winners for 2011. Next in line with 8 awards apiece are General Motors, Ford/Lincoln, and Toyota/Lexus/Scion. Subaru is the only manufacturer with a winner in all the vehicle classes in which it competes. Subaru earns 5 awards for 2011.
Notably, for consumers looking to buy a fuel-efficient small car, General Motors provides a new award-winning option with the Chevrolet Cruze. GM built the Cruze—which has 10 standard airbags—including ones for the knees, to outperform the government's minimum roof strength requirements and touts the achievement as a selling point.
If you’re buying a new car, keep safety in mind and check out the full list of winners. Also, give us a call beforehand and we can let you know how much your new car will cost to insure before you buy. We can help you learn which safety features can earn you a discount on your ERIE auto insurance, too.
2011 TOP SAFETY PICK WINNERS (new winners in red)
BMW 5 series (except 4-wheel drive and V8)
Cadillac CTS sedan
Infiniti M37/M56 (except M56x 4-wheel drive)
Mercedes E class coupe
Mercedes E class sedan
Audi A4 sedan
Chrysler 200 4-door
Mercedes C class
Volkswagen Jetta sedan
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control
Kia Forte sedan
Mitsubishi Lancer sedan (except 4-wheel drive)
Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback (except WRX)
Volkswagen Golf 4-door
Volkswagen GTI 4-door
Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback (built after July 2010)
Jeep Patriot with optional side torso airbags
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento built after March 2010
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