Japanese Cars Earning Top Safety Picks Once Again

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, October 6th, 2012

The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave a big thumbs up to four new cars this week, adding them to their elite Top Safety Pick list. Three out of four of the coveted spots went to Japanese car makers whose resurgence amongst the rebuilding efforts after the earthquake and Tsunami last year are backed by strong sales of award-winning cars. With sales up across the board almost completely, this latest news shows that not only are Japanese automakers at the front of the design game, but are also fast becoming the standards of safety.

Lexus and Subaru Get Top Safety Pick Awards

With the Top Safety pick list now consisting of 131 models, the latest additions to the ranks of safest cars on the highway include the Lexus ES and the Subaru XV Crosstrek. These three cars all achieved top marks across the boards in crash safety making them all models to keep an eye on for a jump in sales.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has yet to begin large-scale tests with the brand new small overlap front crash test, so none of these four cars were subjected to this latest trial, but it is expected that they will pass as shown by their early admittance to the list.

A Bolster For Small Cars

The results of the testing shows quite clearly that leaps and bounds have been made in the industry to improve the overall crash safety ratings of small cars. While smaller cars have traditionally been thought of as more unsafe during a crash, advancements in technology and new physics studies during safety measures have shown that this is no longer the case.

This bodes well for many Japanese automakers, especially for Subaru who has made it to the list for only the second time (the Impreza WRX) showing that their new line and direction is going to be a lucrative one. With 31 compact cars now on the Top Safety list, it’s clear that the era of the compact car is here.

Further, both versions of the Lexus ES (Lexus ES 300h and Lexus ES 350) made it to the list showing that both hybrid and non-hybrid versions of cars are being given equal consideration, something that was not always the case in the past.

All in all, it looks to be a telling sign of the times as Japanese car makers like Subaru and Lexus are all set to reap the rewards of a safety-conscious industry. Expect them to keep reaping these rewards as sales bolstered by consumer confidence rise over the next few quarters.

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