Winners of the Insurance Information Institute’s gold award included the Ford 500 and Mercury Montego with optional side air bags; the Saab 9-3,the Subaru Legacy and the Honda Civic four-door.
The Ford 500 and Montego are corporate twins and were considered by the institute to be the same car, for award purposes. The cars earned top scores in frontal offset and side impact tests, and a test that reviews seat and head restraints in rear crashes.
The silver award went to the Audi A6, the Audi A3 and the Audi A4; the Chevrolet Malibu with optional side air bags; and the Volkswagon Jetta and Passat.
The institute recognized vehicles that won top marks in front and side crash tests, plus the second-highest mark in seat and head restraint ratings.
No awards were given to minivans. Tests for pickups and sport utility vehicles were still being conducted. The awards, which consider a vehicle’s overall safety, replace the institute’s previous practice of providing “best pick” designations for vehicles in each of the three tests.
The awards may help consumers quickly compare vehicles without having to review multiple sets of tests.
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