May 15, 2007

Acura MDX and Ford Taurus earn top crash-test ratings

Arlington, Virginia – The 2007 Acura MDX luxury SUV and the 2008 Ford Taurus and twin Mercury Sable (not sold in Canada) have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn the highest rating of “Good” in all three Institute tests – front, side, and rear. They also have to be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC), which is a standard feature on the MDX and optional on the Taurus and Sable beginning with 2008 models.
The Taurus replaces the Five Hundred, which was introduced in the 2005 model year and earned Top Safety Pick in 2006 but lost the designation for 2007 when the Institute, based on new research, tightened award criteria to include the availability of ESC. The Five Hundred didn’t offer ESC, which is optional on the 2008 Taurus and Sable. These cars also include side airbags with head protection as standard equipment.

The Institute’s frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of 40-mph frontal offset crash tests. Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. Rear crash protection is rated based on a test that simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph.

With the addition of the MDX, Taurus, and Sable, consumers now may choose among 18 cars, SUVs, and minivans that offer top-rated crash protection and ESC.

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