New NHTSA Crash Test Results Released: Only BMW 5 Series, Hyundai Sonata Get Top Scores

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

The new crash results for 2011 models are in, and only the BMW 5 Series and Hyundai Sonata got a 5-star rating overall.

The government-run tests were the first that employed a “female” crash-test dummy, and a direct crash into a pole. The vehicles were rated from 1 to 5 stars, which are based on a weighted average of risk of injury in the front and side crashes and rollover resistance compared to other vehicles. The only vehicles to earn 5 stars were Hyundai and BMW, and were among the first 34 vehicles tested this new way.

These new tests were put in place in order to give shoppers more information, since high scores had become so common.”More stars equal safer cars,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Through new tests, better crash data and higher standards, we are making the safety ratings tougher and more meaningful for consumers.”

Most surprising were the results for the 2011 Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in the U.S. that got just 3 stars overall (the 2010 model, which was nearly identical, got top scores last year). The only other car to get a 3-star rating was the Camry Hybrid.

Placing at the bottom was the 2011 Nissan Versa, which was also the only vehicle to score just 2 stars overall. The blame of this poor score, says Nissan, is the Versa’s old design, and the company is working on ways to improve the car’s crash-test scores without a full redesign. The automaker believes that the 2011 Juke, which is based on the Versa platform, should score higher as it’s a newer iteration.

As for the rest of the vehicles, the remaining 2011 vehicles that were tested ranked with 4 stars overall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is planning on testing 22 more 2011 models.

See after the jump for the full list of models tested under the new 2011 rules:

MakeModelOverall Frontal Crash RatingOverall Side Crash RatingRollover RatingOverall Vehicle Score
AudiA4 Avant Wagon4554
AudiA4 FWD4554
AudiS4 FWD4554
BMW5 Series 4 DR RWD4555
CadillacEscalade 4WD5534
CadillacEscalade Hybrid 4WD5534
CadillacEscalade RWD5534
CadillacEscalde Hybrid RWD5534
ChevroletMalibu FWD4544
ChevroletTahoe 4WD5534
ChevroletTahoe RWD5534
FordFiesta4544
FordTaurus AWD4544
FordTaurus FWD4544
GMCYukon RWD5534
GMCYukon 4WD5534
HondaPilot 4WD4544
HondaPilot FWD4544
HyundaiSonata (early release)3554
HyundaiSonata (later release)4555
InfinitiM374544
InfinitiM564544
JeepGrand Cherokee 4WD4544
JeepGrand Cherokee RWD4534
KiaSorento AWD4444
KiaSorento FWD4444
NissanVersa3242
SubaruLegacy4454
SubaruOutback4444
ToyotaCamry3343
ToyotaCamry HV3343
ToyotaSienna AWD3544
ToyotaSienna FWD3544
Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

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  • Craig Craig on Oct 06, 2010

    How do you tell what Sonatas were later release from early release?

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