2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

As you line up your "want" list of new cars to replace that old jalopy, we think that safety should really be priority number one, with efficiency a close second. Finding a safe vehicle is actually quite easy, you simply head over to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) website, glance over the 2010 "Top Safety Pick" chart and select a model that suits your needs. Until recently, if you were searching for a mid-size vehicle with a hybrid label also listed as a "Top Safety Pick," your search would have led you to find that exactly zero vehicles met all of the the criteria. But that's not the case anymore.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid recently received the IIHS "Top Safety Pick" rating. The hybrid cousins are now officially the only two mid-size hybrid vehicles to achieve this coveted rating. The Fusion and Milan join the Honda Civic and Toyota Highlander as the only vehicles with hybrid variants to make this year's list. So, if safety is priority number one and you won't settle for anything other than a hybrid vehicle, your choices are limited to just a handful of vehicles. At least now you have two more to consider.

Photos by Sam Abuelsamid / Copyright ©2009 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]

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