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NHTSA Hearts Ford SUVs; IIHS Digs Maxima, Mazda6

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2009 Nissan Maxima

2009 Nissan Maxima

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The latest round of safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are in, and the favored cars and trucks from the latest round include the 2009 Mazda6, the 2009 Nissan Maxima and the entire lineup of Ford SUVs and crossovers.

First, the results from the IIHS, where the Japanese sedans scored well in the insurance-industry group's tough front-impact tests. Both the Mazda6 and the Nissan Maxima received a "Good" score for frontal impacts, based on a 40-mph frontal offset crash tests.

Over at the NHTSA, the Ford SUV and crossover lineup scored a near-universal five stars for front and side impact protection. The only exception? The Ford Edge, which received a four-star rating for front-impact protection for the front passenger. All its other utes -- of special note, the redesigned Ford Escape and its hybrid version -- received five stars for front and side impacts.

Where appropriate, we've updated our "Safety" scores in our full reviews of these vehicles, to reflect the latest safety data.

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