Arlington, Virginia – The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named eleven vehicles as new Top Safety Picks. To qualify, vehicles must earn the highest rating of “good” in the Institute’s front, side and rear tests, and be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC).

“Criteria to win are tough because Top Safety Pick is intended to drive continued improvements such as good crash test ratings and rapid addition of electronic stability control, which is standard equipment on nine of the new eleven winners,” said IIHS president Adrian Lund. “Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results.”

The winners, by vehicle class (all are model-year 2009 unless otherwise noted):

Small cars: Honda Civic (with optional ESC), Mitsubishi Lancer (with optional ESC), Volkswagen Rabbit, and 2008-2009 Scion xB (not sold in Canada)

Midsize cars: Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Passat

Large luxury car: Lincoln MKS

Midsize SUVs: Ford Flex, Honda Pilot

Small pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Midsize convertible: Volkswagen Eos

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