The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested several 2005 sedans in side impact tests. In a nutshell, the Audi A4 and Chevy Malibu scored "Good" — the highest rating, Volvo S60 got the runner-up "Acceptable" and the Nissan Maxima and Suzuki Verona received "Marginal" ratings. The Audi received the "Double Best Pick" rating for also doing well in the frontal crash test. I was a little surprised to see that Volvo said it was "pleased" with its rating after being such an innovator of safety features. Also, although the Verona came with standard side airbags, the structure failed to protect the occupants as well as the other vehicles. It's clear that automakers are paying attention to safety as 25 of 29 vehicles tested by the IIHS for frontal crashes received a good rating based on the likelihood of injuries sustained by the occupants.

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