ARLINGTON, VA - The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that based on new rollover test results, the 2010 Audi A4 and Q5, Ford Flex and Fusion (twins Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ), Hyundai Tucson, Lincoln MKT and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen have earned the institute's Top Safety Pick award.
Each of these vehicles drew the highest rating of "good" for roof strength in rollover crashes. To measure roof strength, a metal plate was pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before five inches of crush was compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes, IIHS said.
"Good"-rated vehicles have roofs that can withstand a force equal to at least four times the vehicle's weight. For comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight.
Top Safety Pick recognizes the vehicles that earn the highest rating of "good" for front, side, rollover and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control. ESC is standard on all of these models.
Earlier this year, Ford made changes to the roof structures of the Flex, Fusion and MKT. The award applies to Flex models built after January 2010, Fusions built after April 2010, and MKTs built after March 2010, IIHS said.