Safe Family Cars: Mid-Size 2011 Top Safety Picks

Source: FamilyCarGuide.com

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2010 Chevrolet Malibu

In the mid-size car segment so popular with families, safety ratings play an increasingly important factor in the decision to purchase a particular model. When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) added a roof strength test to measure protection in the event of a rollover for the 2010 testing, some automakers’ models fell off the list of Top Safety Picks. The IIHS noted that only a few minor changes would need to be made, in some cases, for those models to jump back on the list.

Automakers listened, and it’s a good thing they did. Consumers shopping for a safe family car from the mid-size ranks now have more choices in 2011 models designated Top Safety Picks. Here are seven on the current list (Top Safety Picks 2010):

Chevrolet Malibu

As an affordable (roughly $22,000-$27,000 MSRP) midsize family sedan, the 2011 Chevrolet Malibu (and 2010 models  built after November 2009) is a well-rounded vehicle with seating for five that has something competitors Honda Accord and Toyota Camry don’t – a Top Safety Pick rating. That may soon change, but for now, Malibu and Ford Fusion are volume sellers with this distinction.

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New 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Ford Fusion

Automaker Ford made the required changes to bolster roof strength, thus earning the five-passenger Fusion the Top Safety Pick for 2010-2011 (models built after April 2010). Largely unchanged from 2010 (pictured right), when Fusion won the North American Car of the Year award, the 2011 model features integrated blind-spot mirrors and is an ideal car for small families. It’s also priced right with starting MSRPs from under $20,000 to about $28,500.

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