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IIHS Announces Four New Top Safety Picks

2013 Scion FR-S

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced Thursday that the 2013 Ford Escape, Acura ILX, Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S earned the organization’s Top Safety Pick accolade. The Escape was completely redesigned for 2013, while the latter three are all-new 2013 models.

In order to be named a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must achieve a top score of “good” in all of the organization’s tests, including front, side and rear crash tests, as well as a rollover test. The IIHS recently introduced a new front-impact safety test, the small front overlap frontal crash test, designed to evaluate a vehicle on its ability to keep passengers safe in an accident where the front corner of the vehicle hits an object. This new test is not part of the criteria for a vehicle to be a Top Safety Pick though. The IIHS said most automakers aced the current moderate overlap front test, as the engine absorbs much of the impact of the collision.

2013 Acura ILX

The IIHS says that the 2013 Escape improved over the previous generation, which scored a “marginal” rating in the roof strength test and a “good” rating in the other three tests. To earn the top score of “good” in the roof test, a vehicle’s roof must be able to support the load of four times the vehicle’s weight, says Kicking Tires.

The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performs slightly different crash tests, and has evaluated the 2013 Escape, but not the ILX, BRZ or FR-S yet. The Escape earns four out of five stars in front crash and rollover tests and five stars in side crash tests for an overall score of four stars.

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