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Top car safety picks for 2009

The IIHS says the number of vehicles that win its top award has doubled in the past year.

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Top Safety Picks
Top Safety Picks
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named its "Top Safety Picks" for 2009 Tuesday. 72 cars vehicles earned the top honor which is more than double last year's winners and three times 2007's recipients.

The Top Safety Pick award covers autos that earned the IIHS' best possible ratings for front, side and rear impact protection, and they are available with electronic stability control (ESC), which helps a driver maintain control during emergency maneuvers.

Ford and its Volvo Subsidiary had 16 winners, including the Ford F-150. Honda and its Acura unit had 13 winners. The IIHS, which is funded by insurance companies, pointed out that Honda, Acura and Subaru each have at least one Top Safety Pick in every vehicle class where they compete.

For the first time ever, every class of vehicle tested had a winner, except for microcars. "Consumers are the biggest winners," Institute president Adrian Lund said in a statement. "No matter what kind of vehicle buyers may be considering, now they can walk into just about any dealership and find one that affords the best overall protection in serious crashes."

Chrysler is the only major automaker without a single Top Safety Pick.

Following is a selection of top picks. The full list appears at the end of the gallery.

NEXT: Large car - Cadillac CTS

Last updated November 25 2008: 9:42 AM ET
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