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Infiniti M, Lexus HS 250h, Toyota 4Runner Ace IIHS Crash Tests

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2009 Detroit auto show

2009 Detroit auto show

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2011 Infiniti M

2011 Infiniti M

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2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail

2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail

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From the latest round of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, three models that are all-new this year have been given excellent ratings for frontal and/or side-impact safety.

The all-new 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrid achieved the best 'good' scores in all of the measurement categories of its frontal offset crash, weighing in with a 'good' evaluation overall.

The IIHS notes that the HS 250h is "derived from the Toyota Prius," so it's not surprising that while the HS doesn't get ratings that identical to those of Toyota's iconic hybrid, they're close. Although the HS 250h wasn't rated for side impact yet, the 2010 Prius has been rated 'good.'

The new 2011 Infiniti M37 and M56 models earned top 'good' scores in all aspects of the IIHS frontal offset test. In the side impact test the M sedans achieved 'good' overall but were rated a step down, to 'acceptable,' with respect to "structure/safety cage."

The 2010 Toyota 4Runner also earns a 'good' overall frontal offset score, with top ratings in all segments of the test except head/neck injury, where it was rated acceptable. The Toyota 4Runner is also new for 2010 and has a completely new structure, so its 'good' side-impact rating for 2009 does not necessarily carry over to '10.

In addition to simple occupant protection, all three of these models have some advanced features that might help avoid an accident completely. For instance, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h offers a wide-angle front-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and even a Lane Keep Assist system that studies lane markings and helps steer you back into your lane. Then there's a very effective blind-spot warning system on the 2011 Infiniti M; and the 2010 4Runner offers a host of off-road electronics aimed at preserving traction and stability, plus a new Multi-Terrain Select system and fish-eye rearview camera.

 
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