This year's Top Safety Picks for compact sport utility vehicles from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are in, and the 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan has scored top honors.
"In the latest test, the Tiguan's performance is a standout," said Adrian Lund, president of IIHS. "It sailed through the front and side crash tests without a single downgrade for structure or measures of injury likelihood recorded on the dummy."
Volkswagen is certainly happy to hear the news, as they put a lot of work into the Tiguan's safety features. The Prevent and Preserve Safety System is standard on all Tiguans and consists of 45 safety features, which includes stability control and six airbags, with an option for rear seat airbags.
Other Top Safety Picks included the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander, the 2008 Nissan Rogue and the 2009 Ford Escape. This is more good news for Ford, as you may recall we reported a few days ago that the Escape had bested it's rivals from Toyota in the NHTSA's hybrid crash tests. The IIHS rating also applies to the Escape's twins, the Mercury Mariner and the Mazda Tribute. The Escape even got special mention from institute President Adrian Lund for significant improvements over the previous model.
Performing less favorably on the IIHS's scale of good, acceptable, marginal and poor were the 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara, the 2008 Jeep Patriot, the 2008 Chevy Equinox and its twin, the 2008 Pontiac Torrent, all of which received mixed scores.
The only vehicle to receive a rating of "poor" was the 2008 Jeep Wrangler in the side impact test, which was tested without optional side airbags.
"We've rarely seen a vehicle go in the wrong direction and get a worse rating after it has been redesigned," Lund said about the Wrangler.
Source: Volkswagen of America and Automotive News (Subscription Required)