2011 safest cars announced: Is your dream car a top pick?


Insurance Institute for Highway Safety/AP/File
In this file photo released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a 2009 Volvo C30 is seen in a 31 MPH side impact crash test at the IIHS test center in Virginia. The newest C30, as well as three other Volvos, passed these tests with the highest ratings.

Top picks:

  • Volvo C30
  • Volvo S80
  • Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC90

Out from under Ford’s shadow, which sold it to China’s Geely Automobile this year, Volvo garnered four top picks. That’s in keeping with the brand’s emphasis on safety over glitz. “Unlike most luxury large cars, the Volvo S80 seems to be engineered to fly under the radar,” US News & World Report concluded in its review. The S80 comes with safety options to combat driver fatigue and distraction. The new 2011 Volvo S60, not yet rated by the insurance institute, also comes with a pedestrian-warning system that actually brakes the car if the driver doesn’t respond to its warnings. Crash-avoidance systems could minimize damage or completely prevent nearly a third of all crashes, according to the insurance institute, but it’s not yet clear which systems work best.

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