Sunday

Top Safe Vehicles 2009

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its pick of the Top Safety Vehicles for 2009.

The annual list is made of vehicles that earned top scores in front, side and rear crash tests and are also equipped with electronic stability and control systems. The big surprise? A record number of vehicles made the list, nearly doubling last year's total and three times the number from the 2007 list.

No doubt about it, cars are getting safer. In this soft economy, no one can afford to be off work due to accidental injury so if you are in the market for a new vehicle, finding a safer one is a wise buying decision.

Ford and Volvo and Mazda earned the most awards, but it was Acura whose entire model line made the list. Here's the rest of the list:

LARGE CARS: Acura RL, Audi A6, Cacillac CTS, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Mercury Sable, Toyota Avalon, Volvo S80

MIDSIZE CARS: Acura TL and TSX, Audi A3 and A4, BMW 3 Series, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Mercedes Benz C, Mercury Milan, Saab 9-3, Subaru Legacy, VW Jetta and Passat

MID SIZE CONVERTIBLES: Saab 9-3, VW Eos, Volvo C70

SMALL CARS: Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion xB, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, VW Rabbit

MINI-Car: Honda Fit (but only with the option ESC)

MINIVANS: Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Entourage (but if you buy one be sure that within 30 days you send them a registered letter saying you reject their binding arbitration or they automatically rip off your legal rights), and Kia Sedona

LARGE SUVs & CROSSOVERS: Audi Q7, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook

MIDSIZE SUVs & CROSSOVERS: Acura MDX and RDX, BMW X3 and X5 (our personal favorite for its remarkable navigation system and hidaway 3rd row of seats and rear climate control), Ford Edge and Flex and Taurus X, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Sante Fe and Veracruz (but if you buy one be sure that within 30 days you send them a registered letter saying you reject their binding arbitration or they automatically rip off your legal rights), Infiniti EX35, Lincoln MKX, Mercedes M Class, Nissan Murano, Saturn Vue, Subaru Tribeca, Toyota FJ Cruiser and Highlander, Volvo XC90

SMALL SUVs & CROSSOVERS: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Element, Mazda Tribute, Mercury Mariner, Mitsuibishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, VW Tiguan (where do they get these VW names?)

LARGE PICKUP TRUCKS: Ford F-150 (in spite of its many, many defect issues and recalls over the years, it just keeps on selling), Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tundra

SMALL PICKUP TRUCKS: Toyota Tacoma

Out of 72 models on the list, here's the American Big 3 Scorecard: Ford 12, GM 6, and Chrysler -0-. That's only 25% of the vehicles on the list. Not a single Big 3 product made the Small Car or Small Truck category. Stranger yet is the fact that in the Large Pickup Truck list only Ford made the list and it only made it with one model.

What that shows is that the Big 3 make vehicles that are riskier to drive or ride in and riskier on taxpayers too, what with their beggin for a bailout. Detroit needs to turn that around, and quick. We went to the Moon and we can't build a small car or small truck that the insurance industry can say is among the safest made? What is wrong with that picture?

Well, until we do, don't waste your money. Don't just buy what looks good. Buy what's safe to drive too. And while you're at it, before you plunk down your hard earned money, check out the reliability record of the car and truck model lines before you buy too. No point in buying a lemon that is safe to drive only because it won't run.

Burdge Law Office
www.NewCarLemonLaw.com


Helping consumer get rid of lemons since 1978.