2011 Chevrolet Cruze (Courtesy: GM)Enlarge Photo
2011 Chevrolet Cruze crash testEnlarge Photo
Actually, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze does a step better than any model that has been rated: It's the first model to get top five-star scores in every category of the new revised New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which was revised for 2011 with a much tougher ratings system and more rigorous front and side tests, along with a new side pole test.
With these results, plus the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) results recently announced—including top 'good' scores in all categories and a 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick accolade—the Cruze is by most the safest car in its class.
The Cruze had already earned top results in a number of other crash-test programs around the world, and GM has conducted extensive crash-testing on the model based on the revised federal tests.
The 2011 Cruze also includes a long list of safety features, and it's the first car in its class with ten airbags, including knee airbags in front. Electronic stability control, Brake Assist, and a Smart Pedal brake override are also on the roster.
The news has prompted us to raise the Safety score in our full review of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze from a 9 to a 10. In its class, it's definitely this year's safety leader.
At the time of writing, these GM-released ratings had not yet been posted on the official NHTSA site, SaferCar.gov.