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The Safest and Most Dangerous Cars and Trucks for 2007

Safety is often a top priority in the minds of car buyers. In fact, according to a 2007 Detroit Free-Press poll, safety is second only to fuel efficiency when it comes to buying a car. Fortunately, every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conduct numerous crash tests on cars and trucks to rate their safety, so you don't have to.

2007 Honda Fit Best Small Car Award

The 2007 Honda Fit earned "Best Small Car" and "Best of the Year," according to Motorweek's 2007 Drivers' Choice Awards.

In order to become an IIHS top safety pick, vehicles must earn good ratings on three measures of safety: performance in high-speed front crash tests, performance in high-speed side crash tests, and ability of seat/head restraints to protect against neck injuries in rear impacts.

Additionally, a new requirement for 2007 safety picks was having electronic stability control, which has been found to significantly reduce the risk of crashes by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles during emergency maneuvers.

IIHS Top Vehicle Safety Picks for 2007

Large car

  • Audi A6

Midsize cars

  • Audi A4
  • Saab 9-3
  • Subaru Legacy (with optional electronic stability control)


  • Hyundai Entourage
  • Kia Sedona

Midsize SUVs

  • Acura RDX
  • Ford Edge
  • Honda Pilot
  • Lincoln MKX
  • Mercedes M class
  • Subaru B9 Tribeca
  • Volvo XC90

Small SUVs

  • Honda CR-V
  • Subaru Forester (with optional electronic stability control)

NHTSA Five-Star Safety Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also announced that 24 2007 vehicles received five stars in front and side crash tests, the highest government rating under the agency's New Car Assessment Program. These vehicles include:

2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca Safe Mid Size SUV

The 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca is one of the top safety picks for 2007 mid-size SUVs, according to tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Four-Door Passenger Vehicles

  • Dodge Caliber
  • Ford Five Hundred
  • Kia Optima
  • Mercury Montego
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Saturn Aura
  • Toyota Camry

Four-Door SUVs

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q7
  • Dodge Nitro
  • Ford Freestyle
  • GMC Acadia
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Element
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Infiniti FX35/45
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Kia Sorento
  • Kia Sportage
  • Mazda CX-7
  • Saturn Outlook
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Highlander

MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Awards

Motorweek, one of the nation's leading sources for automotive industry news and new car information, has also released their Drivers' Choice Awards for 2007. Over 150 new cars, trucks and SUVs were tested, and the winners chosen based on performance in road and track tests and comparisons to competitors. The Drivers' Choice Awards represent the "cream of the crop" for car buyers, based on performance, technology, practicality, and dollar value, from a consumer perspective. The winners are:

  • Best Small Car: Honda Fit (which also won "Best of the Year")
  • Best Family Sedan: Saturn Aura
  • Best Minivan: Hyundai Entourage and Kia Sedona
  • Best Convertible: Volkswagen Eos
  • Best Luxury Sedan: Lexus LS
  • Best Sport Sedan: Infiniti G35
  • Best Performance Car: Ford Shelby GT500
  • Best Small Utility: Honda CR-V
  • Best Large Utility: Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon
  • Best Crossover Utility: GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook
  • Best Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
  • Best Eco-Friendly: Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Best Dream Machine: Jaguar XKR, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and Porsche 911 Turbo

The Seven Least-Safe Cars of 2007

Finally, Forbes conducted an analysis to come up with the least-safe cars of 2007. Their conclusions are based on a car's accident-avoidance features, results of crash tests, and real-world data (the rates of injury claims filed per vehicle). The least-safe cars that made their list are:

  • Toyota Corolla (four-door, without optional side airbags)
  • Chevrolet Cobalt (four-door, without optional side airbags)
  • Ford Focus (four-door, without optional side airbags)
  • Mazda3 (four-door, without optional side airbags)
  • Saturn Ion (four-door, with or without optional side airbags)
  • Suzuki Aerio four-door
  • Suzuki Forenza four-door

Recommended Reading

The Safest & Least-Safe Cars of 2006

Extreme Driving Situation Programs on the Rise in Response to #1 Cause of Teen Death: Teen Driving


Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Awards February 13, 2007

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