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BMW 5 Series and Hyundai Sonata shine in new 2011 NHTSA crash tests

By KBB.com Editors on October 7, 2010 11:29 AM
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As we reported previously, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has comprehensively revamped the evaluation and scoring criteria used in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for 2011. NHTSA has just released scores (listed in the table below) for the first batch of 33 new vehicles to undergo this more stringent Five-Star Safety Rating test regimen. Among that group two vehicles, the 2011 BMW 5 Series and 2011 Hyundai Sonata, emerged as the only ones to earn a five-star overall rating. Interestingly, both sedans merited just four stars for their performance in the overall frontal crash test, but did well enough in all other areas of crash and safety system evaluation to receive a combined five-star mark.

NHTSA's decision to adopt more demanding NCAP test criteria stemmed from its desire to make the ratings more valuable to consumers by having them more directly assess the actual real-world safety of a given new vehicle. Timing for the first major rule change in 32 years reflects the fact that so many manufacturers were already building cars that could meet the highest NCAP rating level. While the new system will continue to award from one to five stars, not all vehicles that topped their respective categories under the old testing regimen will continue to enjoy that same status from here on.

The lowest-scoring 2011 vehicle in this first round of new NCAP testing was the 2011 Nissan Versa. A four-star player in all rating categories for 2010, its overall star count dipped to two stars in 2011, primarily due to its performance in the newly-implemented side-impact tests.

2011 Cars Tested Under New NCAP

Make

Model

Overall Frontal Crash Rating

Overall Side Crash Rating

Rollover Rating

Overall Vehicle Score

Audi

A4 Avant Wagon

4

5

5

4

Audi

A4 FWD

4

5

5

4

Audi

S4 FWD

4

5

5

4

BMW

5 Series 4 DR RWD

4

5

5

5

Cadillac

Escalade 4WD

5

5

3

4

Cadillac

Escalade Hybrid 4WD

5

5

3

4

Cadillac

Escalade RWD

5

5

3

4

Cadillac

Escalde Hybrid RWD

5

5

3

4

Chevrolet

Malibu FWD

4

5

4

4

Chevrolet

Tahoe 4WD

5

5

3

4

Chevrolet

Tahoe RWD

5

5

3

4

Ford

Fiesta

4

5

4

4

Ford

Taurus AWD

4

5

4

4

Ford

Taurus FWD

4

5

4

4

GMC

Yukon RWD

5

5

3

4

GMC

Yukon 4WD

5

5

3

4

Honda

Pilot 4WD

4

5

4

4

Honda

Pilot FWD

4

5

4

4

Hyundai

Sonata (early release)

3

5

5

4

Hyundai

Sonata (later release)

4

5

5

5

Infiniti

M37

4

5

4

4

Infiniti

M56

4

5

4

4

Jeep

Grand Cherokee 4WD

4

5

4

4

Jeep

Grand Cherokee RWD

4

5

3

4

Kia

Sorento AWD

4

4

4

4

Kia

Sorento FWD

4

4

4

4

Nissan

Versa

3

2

4

2

Subaru

Legacy

4

4

5

4

Subaru

Outback

4

4

4

4

Toyota

Camry

3

3

4

3

Toyota

Camry HV

3

3

4

3

Toyota

Sienna AWD

3

5

4

4

Toyota

Sienna FWD

3

5

4

4

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