The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has just released the first of its 2013 Top Safety Pick Award winners, including vehicles that earned primo Top Safety Pick+ marks for their ability to provide superior passenger protection when subjected to the organization's barrier of tests, including the new and more demanding "small overlap" frontal crash regimen that was introduced for the 2012 model year.

The IIHS testing currently assesses each vehicle tested with ratings of good/acceptable/marginal/poor based on its performance in a moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, along with supplemental evaluations of its seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. To qualify for Top Safety Pick+ status, it must receive "good" ratings in at least four of the five evaluations and can have no less than an "acceptable" mark in the remaining test.

Of the 29 individual models evaluated so far in the IIHS's small overlap frontal crash test, a total of 13 cars and SUVs rolled off with Top Safety Pick+ ratings for 2013. These include the Acura TL, Chrysler 200 4-door, Dodge Avenger, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord 2-door, Honda Accord 4-door, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima 4-door, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Suzuki Kizashi, Volkswagen Passat, and Volvo S60.

In addition to the vehicles that garnered Top Safety Pick+ awards, a total of 117 more new cars, trucks and SUVs also were named as Top Safety Pick winners for 2013. To qualify for that status, they had to score a "good" rating for occupant protection in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap rating. According to Adrian Lund, IIHS president, even Top Safety Pick winners offer outstanding protection in many types of crashes. "These vehicles are much safer choices than most vehicles on the market just five years ago."

Here's the complete roster of 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ award winners, broken out by category:

Fiat 500
Ford Fiesta (sedan/hatchback)
Honda Fit
Nissan Versa Hatchback
Toyota Yaris Hatchback (4-door models)

Small Cars
Acura ILX
Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet Sonic
Chevrolet Volt
Dodge Dart
Ford Focus (4-door sedan/hatchback)
Honda Civic (4-door)
Honda CR-Z
Honda Insight
Hyundai Elantra
Kia Forte (4-door sedan)
Kia Soul
Lexus CT 200h
Mazda Mazda3
Mini Cooper Countryman
Mitsubishi Lancer (except Ralliart and Evolution)
Nissan Cube
Nissan Juke
Scion FR-S
Subaru Impreza (except WRX)
Subaru XV Crosstrek
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius C
Volkswagen Golf (4-door models)
Volkswagen GTI  (4-door models)

Mid-Sized moderately priced cars
Audi A3
Buick Verano
Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler 200 (4-door models) - TSP+
Dodge Avenger - TSP+
Ford Fusion (built after December 2012) - TSP+
Honda Accord 2-door - TSP+
Honda Accord 4-door - TSP+
Hyundai Sonata - TSP+
Kia Optima
Nissan Altima (4-door built after November 2012) TSP+
Subaru Legacy (built after August 2012) - TSP+
Subaru Outback (built after August 2012) - TSP+
Suzuki Kizashi - TSP+
Toyota Camry
Toyota Prius V
Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagon
Volkswagen Passat (built after October 2012) - TSP+
Volvo C30

Mid-size luxury/near-luxury cars
Acura TL - TSP+
Acura TSX
Acura TSX Sportwagon
Audi A4 Sedan
BMW 3 Series Sedan
Lexus ES 350
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Volkswagen CC (except 4WD V6 model)
Volvo S60 - TSP+

Large Family Cars
Buick Lacrosse
Buick Regal
Chrysler 300
Dodge Charger
Ford Taurus
Hyundai Azera
Toyota Avalon

Large luxury cars
Audi A6
BWW 5 Series (except 4WD and V8)
Cadillac CTS Sedan
Cadillac XTS
Hyundai Equus
Hyundai Genesis
Lexus GS Series
Lincoln MKS
Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2-door
Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4-door
Volvo S80

Small SUVS
Ford Escape
Honda CR-V
Hyundai Tucson
Jeep Patriot (with optional side torso airbags)
Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-5
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Subaru Forester
Volkswagen Tiguan

Mid-size SUVs
Chevrolet Equinox
Dodge Durango
Dodge Journey
Ford Edge
Ford Explorer
Ford Flex
GMC Terrain
Honda Crosstour
Honda Pilot
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota 4Runner (built after October 2012)
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Venza

Mid-size luxury SUVs
Acura MDX
Acura RDX
Audi Q5
Cadillac SRX
Infiniti EX
Lexus RX
Lincoln MKT
Lincoln MKX
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Volvo XC60
Volvo XC90

Large SUVs
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse
GMC Acadia
Volkswagen Touareg

Chrysler Town & Country
Dodge Grand Caravan
Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna
Volkswagen Routan

Large Pickups
Ford F-150 Crew Cab
Honda Ridgeline
Toyota Tundra Crew Cab

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