The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has named the 2013 Dodge Dart and three other models to its “Top Safety Pick” list. The current list now includes 131 vehicles.
Coveted Top Safety Pick list
The other models added to the list were the Lexus ES 350 midsize luxury sedan, the Hyundai crossover Santa Fe and the Subaru XV Crosstrek hatchback. Each of them is a re-designed version of a model from a prior run.
Safety is a top consideration before U.S. buyers decide to get a loan for a car. Therefore, spots on the IIHS Top Safety Pick list are much-coveted by automakers.
IIHS President Adrian Lund said:
“Winners afford buyers the best overall protection in four of the most common kinds of crashes, and help them avoid crashes altogether.”
The four ‘most common kinds of crashes’ the IIHS tests for are rollovers, as well as front, side and rear impacts. However, none of the new inductees was subjected to the IIHS’s much-publicized new small overlap front crash test. It has not yet been fully integrated into the institute’s qualifying battery of tests.
The 2013 Dodge Dart
The Dart is the first model engineered and designed as a collaboration between Chrysler and Fiat. It earned the maximum score in all of the tests it was subjected to.
Not surprisingly, it is loaded with safety features. It has 10 air bags, blind-spot monitoring, electronic stability control and anti-lock disc brakes, among other features designed to protect motorists and passengers.
Reid Bigland, president of the Dodge brand, said:
“We had high expectations for the Dart and our engineers delivered. Since its launch, the 2013 Dodge Dart has consistently outperformed in the area of fuel efficiency, technology, value for the money and now safety.”
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September sales of new ‘listees’
Each of the new ‘listees’ was put on the market only in the last few months. For the month of September — its first full month on the market — Subaru sold only 192 XV Crosstreks. Dodge sold 5,235 2013 Darts in the same month. Toyota moved 6,553 of its new Lexus ES 350s. Hyundai sold the most, transferring the ownership of 7,378 Santa Fe crossovers last month.
Standards increasingly stringent
Automakers are building vehicles skewed more and more for safety. For model year 2012, the IIHS tested 180 models. Of those, 132, or nearly 75 percent, qualified for the Top Safety Pick list. However, the safety group says that automakers will face more grueling standards next year.