There was a time when the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety was the ball buster of safety standards, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Association gave out Five Star ratings like glitter at a gentleman's club. Times have changed and automakers have evidently picked up on what IIHS is looking for, and more and more new vehicles are receiving the top designation of "Good." To get the top score, stability control is the price of entry, and features like side curtain airbags can really help the cause. And unlike NHTSA's 35 mph impact speeds, the IIHS smacks concrete at a more impressive 40 mph.
The two newest members of the "Good" club cater to very different customers, but both have great safety chops. The 2010 Lacrosse is all-new for 2010, and the IIHS found the newest Buick very worthy in front, side and rear impact collisions. As you might expect, the Lacrosse comes standard with stability control and side curtain airbags.
The Nissan Versa has been on the market for a while now, and the 2010 subcompact has once again earned the top designation from the IIHS. The Versa scored well in front, side and rear collisions, and with optional stability control, it was able to fetch a top score.