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The 2011 BMW 5 series can stick another feather in its jaunty Alpine cap. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the German automaker's middle child the coveted Top Safety Pick accolade. The newest generation of the 5er managed to nab the highest ratings possible for front, side, rear and rollover crash protection, becoming the first 5 Series to win the Top Safety Pick in the model's history. Surprisingly enough, the 2011 5 Series is also the first BMW to take the award since the IIHS incorporated its new roll-over test.

The institute says that BMW has made up impressive ground in the area of side impact protection. Last year's car only managed a "marginal" rating during that section of testing, while the new car was granted the highest rating possible. The institute goes on to say that its test replicates an impact from a larger vehicle, such as an SUV of a pickup truck, to accommodate for the higher number of these vehicles on the road today. Full details at the link below.

[Source: IIHS]

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