Criteria for the annual rankings based on crash tests were made more stringent this year, as the institute made electronic stability control mandatory for consideration for the first time. Vehicles must also perform "good" rating in front and side crashes as well as seat/head restraint performance in rear-end crashes.
No small cars won this year's award. The four-door Honda Civic won last year, but the institute said most 2007 Civics don't have ESC and those models that do don't have seat/head restraints rated good for rear crash protection.
All 2007 winners have standard side airbags. The winners were: Audi A6 manufactured after November 2006, Audi A4, Saab 9-3, Subaru Legacy with ESC, minivans Hyundai Entourage and Kia Sedona, luxury SUVs Mercedes M class and Volvo XC90, midsize SUVs Acura RDX, Honda Pilot and Subaru B9 Tribeca, and small SUVs Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester equipped with ESC.
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