Feds: 55 Models For 2011 To Be Tested For Revamped 5-Star Ratings

July 29, 2010
For safety-conscious car shoppers, it's been more than a little daunting over the past couple of model years to tell the difference between the safest models on the market and those that are merely good.

Every automaker, it seems, has a five-star rating to boast about, and almost every vehicle, it seems, offers the claim of "class leading safety" in ads.

With the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) having tightened its requirements to be a Top Safety Pick for 2010, and now the federal government introducing a new side-pole test and tougher 5-star rating system for 2011, it will at last be much easier to tell the vehicles that offer exceptionally good occupant protection from those that don't.

In recent years, some have called the federal tests useless at first glance, as in some classes nearly all of the models have received top five-star results. Very few have received three stars or less over the past several model years.

With the recalibration, NHTSA says that three-star vehicles will again provide average or close to average injury protection compared to other vehicles of the same model year.

As before, side and rollover tests will be comparable across all types of vehicles, but because the vehicle's weight is a factor in the frontal test, it can only be compared in that category between vehicles that are plus or minus 250 pounds of each other.

The new ratings will include an overall score that combines the results of frontal crash tests, side tests, and rollover tests, and displayed in a new format on NHTSA's SaferCar.gov information portal. While the frontal tests haven't been significantly changed, a completely new side pole test has been introduced, to simulate a single-vehicle impact with a utility pole or tree (one of the deadliest types of accidents).

In addition, the agency will now also summarize pertinent "advanced technology information," which includes electronic stability control, forward collision warning systems, and lane departure warning systems.

“This new testing program significantly raises the safety bar for all vehicle manufacturers and will provide consumers with a great deal more safety information about the cars and trucks they want to buy,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a release.

Shoppers won't be able to compare scores given by the new system with those of the old one, so this year NHTSA plans to test more vehicles than usual—55 models in all.

Click to the next page to see the complete list of 2011 model-year vehicles to be tested.

Here's the complete list of 2011 model-year vehicles that will be tested under the new program:

Passenger Cars

Manufacturer

Make

Model

BMW BMW 5 Series
Chrysler Dodge Caliber
Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Ford Ford Fiesta
Ford Ford Fusion
Ford Ford Taurus
GM Chevrolet Cruze
GM Chevrolet Malibu
GM Buick Lucerne
Honda Honda Accord
Honda Honda Civic
Hyundai Hyundai Sonata
Kia Kia Forte
Kia Kia Optima
Mazda Mazda Mazda3
Nissan Infiniti M37
Nissan Nissan Altima
Nissan Nissan Sentra
Nissan Nissan Versa
Toyota Toyota Camry
Toyota Toyota Corolla
Toyota Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Audi A4
Volkswagen Volkswagen Jetta

Vans

 

Manufacturer

Make

Model

Honda Honda Odyssey
Toyota Toyota Sienna

Sport Utility Vehicles

 

Manufacturer

Make

Model

Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee
Ford Ford Edge
Ford Ford Escape
GM Chevrolet Tahoe
GM Chevrolet Traverse
GM Chevrolet Equinox
Honda Acura MDX
Honda Honda CR-V
Honda Honda Pilot
Kia Kia Sorento
Kia Kia Soul
Nissan Nissan Murano
Nissan Nissan Rogue
Subaru Subaru Forester
Subaru Subaru Outback
Toyota Lexus RX350
Toyota Toyota Highlander
Toyota Toyota RAV4
Toyota Toyota Venza
Volvo Volvo XC60

Pickup Trucks

 

Manufacturer

Make

Model

Chrysler Ram 1500 Crew Cab
Chrysler Ram 1500 Quad Cab
Ford Ford F-150  Super Cab
Ford Ford F-150 Super Crew Cab
Ford Ford Ranger Extended Cab
GM Chevrolet Silverado 1500  Extended Cab
GM Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab
Toyota Toyota Tacoma Double Cab
Toyota Toyota Tundra Double  Cab

[NHTSA]

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