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Discussion Starter #1
This has never happened before -- all five vehicles tested received not only "Good" overall ratings, but "Best Pick" designations.

There is a caveat, however. The Toyota Corolla first tested scored "Good" but without a "Best Pick" designation. Toyota went back and modified the vehicle design in the middle of the model year and added more padding, and requested a re-test (IIHS lets the manufacturer make a design change and request a retest before the release of results). The updated Corolla received the "Best Pick" designation, and all new Corollas will have this design change.

Nothing like getting it right the first time. Toyota has had some recent issues with good/okay but not great crash test scores (e.g. side impact scores of the new Camry, the Highlander, etc.)

The A4 also had some safety improvements, but the IIHS never tested the earlier model year ones.

As Honda predicted with its own internal crash testing, the Accord earned a "Good" score. It also go the "Best Pick" tag.

IIHS Press Release:

http://www.iihs.org/news_releases/2002/pr121002.htm

Also shown on tonight's Dateline NBC. Dateline story:

http://www.msnbc.com/news/845659.asp

The Accord is now the highest-rated vehicle (ever) in its IIHS class:

http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/summary_midinexp.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2002 Acura MDX! said:
I saw that video in the NBC link and I can't believe the Impreza and the Lancer is more safer then the Volvo S40 :eek:
I guess it depends on the perspective. The S40 is actually a relatively old design -- introduced in the U.S. in 2000 but had been sold in Europe for a few years before that. Newer designs typically have an advantage over newer ones.

The S40 is no slouch, though. It tested "Good" but was not a "Best Pick". It also has safety features that aren't tested by crash tests. E.g. Volvo's famous "WHIPS" system that reduce the chance or severity of whiplash injury, anti-submarining belts, reinforced seats, etc. That all said, being an older design still hurts it. It's actually a joint venture between Volvo and Mitsubishi!

The Impreza has the advantage of AWD, which also helps its safety.

It's funny how companies market the tests. E.g. Suzuki bragging about how their scores are above vehicle Xyz or tied with Abc. Reminds me of some ads I've seen that tout "5-star safety" and then there is fine print flashed very quickly that the 5-stars only applied to the side impact or one side of the front impact!

Meanwhile, Honda is really on a roll. Here are the last four vehicles they've released that have been tested by the IIHS:

2003 Accord: Good overall, Best Pick, all categories "Good"
2002 CR-V: Good overall, Best Pick, all categories "Good"
2001 Civic: Good overall, Best Pick, all categories "Good"
2001 MDX: Good overall, Best Pick, all categories "Good"

One can go back further:

1999 TL: Good overall, Best Pick
1999 Odyssey: Good overall

There's an obvious trend here! Honda put the "world's largest indoor crash test facility" (their words) on-line in the late-90's, and that has helped them design crashworthy vehicles (combined with good design and computer modeling).
 
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