What are the safest cars to buy in 2013?

What are the best cars to buy this year when it comes down to safety in collisions and crashes?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

IIHS has completed its testing of 2013 car models. Which came up top in safety rankings?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its annual Top Safety Pick award for 2013, which ranks new, commercially available vehicles based on a number of common driving incidents. Cars are ranked depending on how well they perform in common accidents including overlap crashes, frontal collisions, side impacts, rollovers and rear impacts -- as well as whether drivers are protected from neck injuries.

If a car achieves the highest available ranking of "good" in at least four out of five evaluations, and a minimum of "acceptable" in the fifth, then it makes the list. In this year's testing, 13 cars managed to secure the Top Safety Pick Plus award, while another 177 vehicles were labeled top safety picks.

"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," stated Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "We're pleased to recognize them with our new Top Safety Pick+ award for 2013."

The 2013 winners of the Top Safety Pick Plus award included the Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Volkswagen Passat, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata. Most of the vehicles on the list are mid-range, moderately priced models, although two "luxury or near luxury" cars, the Acura TL and Volvo S60, are considered a top pick in safety.

When testing turned to cars with a good safety rating -- but not the top dogs -- cars ranging from the hefty Toyota Tundra pickup truck to the small Honda Fit managed to secure a good safety rating. IIHS does point out that heavier vehicles will generally do better than lighter ones in a collision, but that didn't stop the pint-sized Fiat 500 from also earning a Top Safety Pick award.

The IIHS 2013 Top Safety Pick page lists all the winners of this year's league table, with links to more detail on each model and in most cases video footage of the tests.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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