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Four New Cars Awarded Top Safety Pick By Insurance Institute For Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that four new vehicles have been awarded their Top Safety Pick ratings for the year. These new or redesigned models, recently introduced to the public managed to snag the top crash-test rating.

The top tier ranking means that the vehicle performed exceptionally well in test crashes that evaluate the car in simulated front, rear and side impacts. Rollover accidents are evaluated as well. 

The Dodge Dart was one of the newest models to make the list. Chrysler has high hopes for this brand new vehicle. It is the first car that is jointly designed and engineered by Chrysler Group LLC, and Fiat SpA. Chrysler was happy to see that the engineering behind the Dart delivered and the car was able to receive a top rating from the IIHS.

Three other redesigned vehicles for the 2013 model year also earned the top safety rating. The Santa Fe from Hyundai, which is a crossover model, the Lexus ES 350, their midsize luxury sedan, and the XV Crosstrek hatchback from Subaru were awarded top marks in the crash tests as well.

The IIHS tested 180 vehicles for the 2012 model year and according to a recent press release, 132 were awarded the Top Safety Pick label.

A total of 73 percent of the cars tested won the top safety award but this may be the last year it’s so easy to get a top rating. Next years testing will incorporate testing of crashes that impact the front corners during the front crash test portion. This is a more demanding test which will prompt car manufacturers to create vehicle bodies that can absorb middle front collisions better.

The new testing was conducted on 11 luxury cars recently and only two models were able to earn the top safety rating.

The IIHS’s complete list will be issued in December and will list ratings for all of the vehicle models being sold in the United States. The four models specified in the press release were tested ahead of schedule upon the request of the manufacturers. Each of the new models had been introduced to the U.S market in the last several months.

Among the new models, the Santa Fe by Hyundai sold the most, moving 7,378 in September. This was a 19 percent increase over last year. It was a big improvement over August sales, which came in at 4,524. The Santa Fe has a third row and offers a roomy design that can carry tons of cargo and passengers.

Hyundai is confident that consumers will find the newer model appealing. Hyundai is hoping to sell 100,000 of the redesigned Santa Fe in the 2013 model year.

The high-end Lexus ES, which is built by the Toyota Motor Corp, sold 6,553 vehicles in September. This is an increase of 81 percent over a year ago. According to a Lexus spokesperson, 80 percent of the vehicles sold in the month of September were the brand new 2013 model.

The Dodge Dart sold 5,235 in September, which is up from 3,045 in August.

The 2013 Dodge Dart is Chrysler’s new compact car, which has been a hit with critics as being sporty, efficient as well as affordable.