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It's a big deal when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety honors a vehicle with a Top Safety Pick designation, and now the 2012 Audi A6 and 2012 Volkswagen Passat can join the big deal club. The IIHS gave both VW Group vehicles the award after they received top scores in stringent front, side and rear impact testing. Both vehicles also feature electronic stability control; a must for any Top Safety Pick winner.

You can now satisfy your hankering for a 2012 Audi A6 by spending a little time on the recently unveiled configurator. The sedan we called "a smaller, livelier A8" starts at just $41,700 for the 211-horsepower, 2.0 TSFI in Premium trim with a CVT and front-wheel drive, but online ballers can jump right into the $56,780, 310-hp, 3.0 TSFI Prestige with the eight-speed automatic and quattro.

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