The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced it has selected 34 vehicles as recipients of the Top Safety Pick award for 2008.
The award recognizes vehicles that best protect people in front, side, and rear crashes, based on ratings in the institute's tests. Winners also have to be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC), which research shows can significantly reduce the risk of crashing.
Compared with last year, automakers have more than doubled the number of vehicles that meet criteria for Top Safety Pick, the institute said. At the beginning of the 2007 model year, 13 models qualified. But as manufacturers have made changes and introduced new and safer vehicle designs, 10 additional vehicles qualified during the year. Now another 11 vehicles are being added to the list for 2008.
Here are the new winners:
Ford Taurus with optional electronic stability control
Mercury Sable with optional electronic stability control
Audi A3, A4
Subaru Legacy with optional electronic stability control
Subaru Impreza with optional electronic stability control
Acura MDX, RDX
BMW X3, X5
Ford Edge, Taurus X
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Veracruz built after August 2007
Mercedes M class
Saturn VUE built after December 2007
Honda CR-V, Element
Subaru Forester with optional electronic stability control