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What are the safest vehicles for 2013?

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is awarding its new Top Safety Pick+ accolade to 13 cars is says have superior crash protection.

All earn good or acceptable ratings in the new IIHS small overlap test as well as top marks in other IIHS evaluations.

Winners include: Acura TL; Dodge Avenger and its twin, the Chrysler 200 four-door; Ford Fusion; Honda Accord two-door; Honda Accord four-door; Kia Optima; Nissan Altima four-door; Subaru Legacy and its twin, the Subaru Outback; Suzuki Kizashi; Volkswagen Passat and Volvo S60. The Acura TL and Volvo S60 are midsize luxury cars. The other models are midsize moderately priced cars.

"Of the 29 models evaluated so far in our small overlap frontal crash test, these 13 cars offer the highest level of all-around crash protection," says Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "We're pleased to recognize them with our new Top Safety Pick+ award for 2013."

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in a moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. Top Safety Pick+ winners must earn good ratings for occupant protection in at least 4 of 5 evaluations, with no less than acceptable in the fifth test.

For 2013, 117 additional vehicles earn Top Safety Pick. To qualify for Top Safety Pick vehicles must have good ratings for occupant protection in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap rating.

"Models that earn Top Safety Pick also offer outstanding protection in many crashes," Lund says. "These vehicles are much safer choices than most vehicles on the market just five years ago."

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