DETROIT - The 2011 GMC Acadia has received a five-star crash test rating in the federal government's New Car Assessment Program.

Acadia previously received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award, signifying best-possible "good" ratings in frontal offset, side and rear crash tests.

Acadia was tested under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's new rating system, which was implemented this fall for the 2011 model year. The new rating is based on more rigorous frontal and side crash tests in addition to rollover resistance testing. Under the new system, these three test conditions are combined mathematically into an overall vehicle score. 

Under this methodology, the Acadia drew an overall vehicle score of five stars -- the highest rating possible -- even though several individual tests resulted in four-star ratings.

"Earning five stars under the new rating system is an impressive feat -- one that clearly demonstrates the strength of Acadia's advanced structure, overall crashworthiness and effectiveness of its state-of-the-art safety technologies," said Jeff Boyer, General Motors executive director of vehicle safety.

Acadia's safety systems help protect passengers before, during and after a crash. Standard safety-enhancing features include StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, six air bags and OnStar's Automatic Crash Response system that can help get emergency responders to a crash scene quickly.  

Acadia's vehicle structure is reinforced in numerous areas with high-strength steel. The six air bags include dual-stage front air bags for the driver and front passenger, two seat-mounted side-impact air bags in the first row, and two head curtain side-impact air bags that cover all three seating rows.

GM's rollover sensing system can activate the side-impact air bags if sensors determine an imminent rollover. In a rollover, the air bags stay inflated longer to provide increased occupant protection.