IIHS awards Top Safety Picks to Audi, Ford, Hyundai and VW on strength of roofs

2010 Insurance Institute For Highway Safety rollover tests – click above for high-res images

Perish the thought, haters! The above Lincoln MKT is getting its roof caved in not on aesthetic grounds, but rather to test its ability to survive a rollover accident. If you haven't guessed by now, the MKT did so well in the roof-crush test that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) handed parent company Ford a much coveted Top Safety Pick award. Actually, the IIHS handed FoMoCo a hefty total of five rollover-related Top Safety Pick awards. However we should note that one of the Ford products earning top marks is in fact the soon to be extinct Mercury Millan, so really Ford only nabbed four – but who's counting? Other good-to-rollover-in Ford products include the Flex, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ.

Speaking of thick-sculled corporate cousins, Audi and Volkswagen were handed a couple of Top Safety Picks, too. The 2010 Audi A4 and Q5 as well as the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen all earned top marks from the IIHS. As far as the Jetta goes, that's just one more reason to choose wagon over sedan. Finally, the new 2010 Hyundai Tucson gets the coveted TSP, and having recently driven the overly-stiff compact CUV, we're not at all surprised that its roof holds up to crushing. To get the dirt on the IIHS's methodology/read the press release, make the jump.

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[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]
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Audi, Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen models earn the 2010 TOP SAFETY PICK award

Arlington, VA -- Based on new rollover test results the 2010 Audi A4 and Q5, Ford Flex and Fusion (twins Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ), Hyundai Tucson, Lincoln MKT, and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's TOP SAFETY PICK award.

Each vehicle earns the highest rating of good for roof strength in rollover crashes. 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. Good rated vehicles have roofs that can withstand a force equal to at least 4 times the vehicle's weight. For comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight.

Top Safety Pick recognizes the vehicles that earn the highest rating of good for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control, which is standard on all of these models. Earlier this year Ford made changes to the roof structures of the Flex, Fusion, and MKT. The award applies to Flex models built after January 2010, Fusions built after April 2010, MKTs built after March 2010.

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