The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its list of safest vehicles for the 2013 model year. In all, the list includes 117 cars that were awarded a Top Safety Pick. Thirteen cars were given the Top Safety Pick+ award, which is an even higher award for vehicle safety. These vehicles go deeper to bring a safer ride to drivers and passengers, and we're going to take a quick look at each one.
Honda Accord 2-door
Honda's Accord is almost always given top honors for safety, and this year is no exception. The 2-door model provides a sportier look, but still maintains a high level of safety.
Honda Accord 4-door
The 4-door version of the Honda Accord has received the same honors as its sportier 2-door brethren. Families looking for easier access to the rear seats can still expect the high level of safety from this version of Honda's popular sedan.
Chrysler 200 4-door
Chrysler first introduced the 200 sedan during the 2011 model year, and its sales have been slowly improving each year. It is designed to offer a scaled down version of Chrysler's flagship 300 sedan, but it doesn't scrimp on safety.
The Dodge Avenger was reintroduced to the North American market in 2008 after an eight-year hiatus. The front-wheel drive sedan has seen a huge improvement in sales in 2012, and the safety rating of its 2013 model should certainly help that number improve even more going forward.
Ford Fusion built after Dec. 2012
The Ford Fusion entered into its second generation for the 2013 model year. As one of Ford's more successful vehicles, this will only go on to help it take hold of the U.S. market. After a rocky road for Ford a few years back, it seems the company is back on track, and another award on the shelf is always a good thing.
In 2011, Kia gave the Optima a major visual overhaul, and it certainly looks a lot more stylish than previous model years. For 2013, Kia added a few safety improvements, and the IIHS has taken notice, offering the Optima its highest honor for vehicle safety.
Nissan Altima 4-door built after Nov. 2012
The Nissan Altima has been a staple of mid-size sedans since the 90s, and it shows no signs of slowing. For the 2013 model, Nissan launched into a new generation, and besides style and performance, Nissan made some notable safety improvements that the IIHS has clearly noticed.
While the Suzuki Kizashi may have been killed off in November of 2012 in the U.S., that doesn't mean it's still not a safe, well-designed vehicle. Even though it's not for sale anymore, at least owners of the car know that they are in for a safe ride.
Subaru Legacy built after Aug. 2012
The Legacy has not seen a major redesign in North America since the 2010 model year. However, small improvements have come with each year, and for the 2013 model, Subaru revisited the suspensions and CVT transmission and made some small tweaks to the safety features.
Subaru Outback built after Aug. 2012
The Outback is built on the Legacy platform, so it's no surprise that it made the list as well. For drivers looking for a safe vehicle in wagon form, the Outback might be the way to go.
The Acura TL is one of the few luxury sedans to make the list. It offers top safety features along with much of the luxury and performance buyers expect for the higher price tag. It's no surprise that it's on the list, since it's built by the same people responsible for the Honda Accord.
The entire basis for Volvo's marketing campaign in the U.S. is its safety record. Well, the company has another trophy to hang its hat on, as the IIHF has included it in the exclusive list of 13 cars with a top safety rating.
Volkswagen Passat built after Oct. 2012
Volkswagen is the final company to have a vehicle make the list. The Passat is another midsize sedan, which seems to be the trend for the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.
In all, Japan had the most cars given the award with a total of seven vehicles listed. The U.S. comes in second with three cars given the top honor. Germany, Sweden, and Korea all have one vehicle listed by the IIHS for the Top Safety Pick+ award.