IIHS Announces 2007 Top Safety Picks; No American Models


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced its list of Top Safety Picks for 2007 this morning. Among the winners are two Audis, three Subarus, two Hondas, and one model each from Acura, Mercedes, Saab and Volvo. Absent are any models by American automakers or Japanese behemoth Toyota. The standards for the award this year are a bit tougher than in the past, but something to strive for. Not only must vehicles score top safety ratings in front, side and rear crash tests, they also must be equipped with electronic stability control. 

There was also a runners-up list, which included cars that met all the requirements except the top rear crash-­test score; and plenty of Toyotas made that list — yet still no American models. Both lists can be found below.


Large car

  • Audi A6 - manufactured in Dec. 2006 and later

Midsize cars

  • Audi A4
  • Saab 9-3
  • Subaru Legacy - equipped with optional electronic stability control


  • Hyundai Entourage
  • Kia Sedona

Luxury SUVs

  • Mercedes M class
  • Volvo XC90

Midsize SUVs

  • Acura RDX
  • Honda Pilot
  • Subaru B9 Tribeca

Small SUVs

  • Honda CR-V
  • Subaru Forester - equipped with optional electronic stability control


These vehicles would have won if their seat/head restraints also
had earned good ratings.

Acceptable rear protection

  • Audi A3
  • BMW 3-series 4dr
  • Lexus IS 250/350

Marginal rear protection

  • Acura TL
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Lexus GS 350
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser
  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota RAV4

Poor rear protection

  • Honda Accord 4dr
  • Infiniti M35
  • Nissan Quest
  • Toyota Avalon
By David Thomas | November 21, 2006 | Comments (20)


Hmmm... They *do* know that the RDX isn't a mid-size SUV, right?

Why isnt the 1994 Mercury Marquis on this list?!?!


The 1994 Mercury Marquis got smashed up while parallel parking by a 90 yr. senior.

You mean the 94 Marquis doesn't have the automatic parallel parking system?


How did they test the Audi A6 manufactured in Dec. 2006 or later? It's still November!

it probably has to do with standard stability control being added at that time. but that's just a guess. Let me look into it.

Mike B.

I suspect that the Volkswagen Jetta, Rabbit and Passat will be joining that list in the near future. Probably the new Hyundai Santa Fe as well.

Mike B.

In response to Tony C.: while the Acura seems relatively tight on the inside, its weight is that of a midsize SUV. Because frontal crash test results are only directly comparable between vehicles in the same weight class, the RDX must be classified in this way.

The same will go for the relatively compact, yet hefty, Mazda CX-7.


Interesting that the Jeep Commander diddnt make the list. Front and side air bags, full side curtain airbags, Vehicle Roll mitigation, stability control, independednt 4 wheel ABS, all speed and terrain traction control,seat belt pretensioners, 5 star crash rating. All standard too.

Ford, GM, and Chevy
those cars ain't safety
Toyota aint safe at all

Mike B.


Besides having available stability control, the other crucial elements to making the list are good frontal offset-, side-, and rear-impact crash test results as conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or by the manufacturer to IIHS specification. The Commander simply hasn't been run through the tests yet. If it rates "Good" in all tests, it will be given a "2007 Top Safety Pick" designation.


Very interesting that Toyota didn't place any vehicles in the Top bunch, but Hyundai/Kia did. My, how things have changed.


Even my 2001 Maxima had both side air bags and TSC. Amazing how long it takes the American car companies to adapt.

I'm starting to believe that people only drive American autos because they can't afford to drive Japanese.

Jim Palmer

'Subaru Forester - equipped with optional electronic stability control", but I have been to Subaru's web site and they do not offer electronic stability control on the Forester. Subaru calls it Vehicle Dynamics Control and offers it on all the B9 Tribecas and some Legacys and Outbacks, but no Foresters.

Mike B.

Perhaps it'll be late availability... but you're right: I don't see it anywhere on the website.


One of the best rated cars even with the new tougher side impact tests is the SAAB 9-3. Yes it's on your list, correctly so, but NO, it's not an independent car company, nor has it been so for many years. YUP it's a GM, that's right GM for General Motors, "American" Car Company. Nice to see GM beating Toyota, and all of your other favorite non-American cars!!

If you want to put it that way Ford owns Volvo so that makes them tied with the Volvo XC90.

We contacted Subaru actually and they do have it as an available option for new Foresters. It was recently added, unfortunatley their website has not caught up to the change.

Mike B.

Dave, thanks for checking on that!


Saab and Volvo have been declining their quality since GM and Ford bought them back in late 90s-early 2000s... Yet the change is coming back from Europe by time. I owned a 99 V70, was a bank vault, got a 2003 V70, and was a piece of plastic. My wife had a Saab 9003, changed it with a 2005 9-3 which was far from a Saab... Saab and Volvo are making their turns in Europe. Designers and engineers are pushing the corporate money sponges. S80 had a make over and looks great… Saabs are going through the change as well but slower, since GM is not in a big trouble as much as Ford for cash flow…
GM and Ford are buying European car makers to improve their sales while reducing the American car manufacturing standards. There wasn’t a decent American car since 60s to compete with their European and Asian counterparts! It’s not because Americans don’t know how to make a great car and you know it!

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