Using the following rankings: G (good) A (acceptable) M (marginal) and P (Poor), the IIHS will award a car one of these letter ranks during front, side, rear and rollover impact crash tests. Each ranking is attributed to a specific injury point on the body, along with the overall integrity of the vehicles design, the execution of the airbags, and other elements of the cars engineering during impact.
5 Audi A3 / A4
Both the Audi A3 and A4 models in 2011 continue to get G ratings in front and side impacts, with the A3 still receiving an ‘A’ in right leg/foot injuries during impact and the A4 receiving an ‘A’ in driver torso injuries during side impacts.Rear seat torso bags are optional, but side airbags and front and rear head curtain bags are standard. As with the 2010 models, there is a chance of the drivers head touching/grazing either the visor or roof on impact, though at low-risk to cause serious injury. Driver space is well maintained on and after impact. The A3 and A4 are high picks for safety by the IIHS.
4 Honda Civic
Continuing the tradition of Civic safety, side and front airbags come standard, along with front and side head curtain airbags. Antilock brakes, daytime running lights, and electronic stability control still come standard too. The 2011 Civic is one of the highest ranking vehicles tested at the IIHS, getting Gs in all categories except a single ‘A’ in driver torso impact injuries during side impacts.
3 Buick Regal
The Regal is another ‘new’ GM model on the list for 2011. The Regal is a re-introduction of the old model). The Buick Regal comes standard with the same features as the Lacrosse, with the addition of a rollover sensor for the side curtain airbags. The only ‘A’ rating given to the Regal was to driver torso injuries during side impacts, though these injuries were still low-risk and minor. For rollover and all other crash testing, the Regal achieved ‘G’. The regal is one of the highest picks for the IFHSS and is another feat of safety for GM, making this the third car manufactured by them on our list.
2 Buick LaCrosse
The LaCrosse goes another year being one of the highest ratedvehicles in terms of safety. Side and front airbags for both driver and passengers come standard, along with daytime running lights, antilock brakes and electronic stability control. The LaCrosse again ranked ‘G’s in both front and side impacts across the board in all categories. There is plenty of driver and passenger space and control during and after impact too. GM again proves again with the LaCrosse that safety has become their number one priority starting in 2011.
1 Chevy Cruze
2011 is the first year of the Chevy Cruze, and it is clear to see GM wanted to produce a commuter and family car that was number one in safety. In crash tests from the IIHS, in all categories in both front and side impacts the Cruze ranked ‘G’. In rollover tests, the Cruze also received a ‘G’. Crash tests show that there is a low chance of serious injury to the entire body during accidents. Standard on the Cruze are driver and front passenger knee airbags, head curtain airbags, and front side bags. Also standard are antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and daytime running lights.
2011 is the year of GM as far as safety is concerned, with new models ranking higher than old favorites. Still, Civics and A3/A4s continue to make our Top 5 lists of safest cars year after year.