• Jun 16th 2011 at 6:31PM
  • 13
Saab 9-5 and Volkswagen CC earn IIHS Top Safety Pick – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded two vehicles Top Safety Pick awards. After testing eight mid-size to large sedans, the IIHS has called out the 2011-12 Volkswagen CC and 2011 Saab 9-5 for its highest award. Both vehicles earned "good" ratings for front, side, rear and rollover protection during testing. It should be noted, however, that only the front-wheel-drive VW CC gets the Top Safety nod, as the all-wheel-drive version only received an "acceptable" rating in rollover testing.

The IIHS also tested Lexus IS, Lexus ES, Infiniti G, Chevrolet Impala, BMW 3 Series and Saab 9-3. The rest of the vehicles had score ratings ranging from good to acceptable, but it was the Saab 9-5 and Volkswagen CC (FWD) that walked away with a clean sweep in all tests. Check out the brief press release after the break.
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2011 Saab 9-5 and 2011-12 Volkswagen CC earn TOP SAFETY PICK

The Saab 9-5, a large luxury car, and the Volkswagen CC, a midsize luxury car, are TOP SAFETY PICK award winners after earning good ratings for performance in the Institute's roof strength test for rollover protection. These cars earlier earned good ratings for front, side, and rear crash protection, and they have standard electronic stability control. TOP SAFETY PICK only applies to the front-wheel drive CC because the heavier all-wheel drive version is rated acceptable in the roof strength test.

Altogether, the Institute recently completed roof strength tests for eight midsize to large family and luxury cars. Also earning a good rating for rollover protection is the 2011 Lexus ES 350, which is not a TOP SAFETY PICK winner because it's rated marginal for rear crash protection. The BMW 3 series, Chevrolet Impala (models built after July 2010), Infiniti G, Lexus IS 250/350, and Saab 9-3 earn acceptable ratings for rollover protection.

To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is 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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now only if Saab had the money to advertise that fact so people would know :(
      Hello Nathaniel
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yay SAAB!! Beautiful AND safe!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't it a bit weird for an automaker in such troubles to crash a car fitted with foglights and a fance interior?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The insurance company buys the car from a dealer and performs the test on that car (good that yet another car got sold). When tested internally at Saab, for roof intrusion, it's is of course far from a complete vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The pictures in this gallery are useless.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's interesting that the AWD CC didn't do as well in roll over testing as the FWD one did. Why would that be? I wish I knew more about engineering and physics :(
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's because the car has to pass 4x it's weight applied to the roof. The AWD weighs more so therefore it has to pass a higher amount of weight applied to the roof. The 2WD must have just barely passed the threshold to recieve a "good" rating and the heavier AWD crossed that threshold and only got an "acceptable" rating. The Saab must have a stronger roof as both 2WD and AWD passed.
          • 4 Years Ago
          The IIHS shows a weight for the FWD of 3,419 (guess that includes passengers? doesn't match up with what VW shows). The roof took 15,057 lbs. for a ratio of 4.40 and a Good. VW lists the curb weight of the 4Motion starting at 3,854 lbs. That means at best if the roof is the same (and you can bet VW told them it was), the ratio would be 3.9, too low for Good. That AWD system includes the V-6, it must be remembered. So no big surprise there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i call it bullshit. shows how big tolerances with these test can be.
          • 4 Years Ago
          Not BS. It's related to the weight of the vehicle. There's an extensive discussion of this going on over at SaabsUnited.com right now. The added weight of the 4-Motion system means that in a rollover, the roof structure would compress more than the lighter FWD only model. Meanwhile the Saab not only can handle the pressure but far exceeds it. Goes to show how serious Saab engineers take safety. The 10 year old structure of the 9-3 is up to par with the new BMW 3-series. For those unfamiliar with Saab's roof strength testing, they perform something called a "moose test" where they ram a moose sized object at the A-pillars and windshield. Saab is the only manufacturer to do so and as such they weld their roof structures stronger than any other car. Pretty impressive real world stuff, and for those who live in deer-filled areas, a welcome addition
      Atlanta Saab
      • 4 Years Ago
      Glad to see that Saab is starting to get some things right. They've had a very tough year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Two very goodlooking and now safe cars.
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