Crossovers are hot in today’s market, but which are the Safest Crossover SUVs? Consumers gravitating toward new crossovers that offer the ride and handling of a car and the utility of an SUV are also concerned – and rightly so – with safety. Compact, midsize or large SUV, safety still counts. You want standard electronic stability control, all the airbags you can get (standard or optional), and excellent federal crash test scores.

These are all great reasons to consider our picks for Safest Crossover SUVs – each of which is Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick:

  • Audi Q5 (2009) – Ultra-luxurious cabin, standard Audi Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD), drives more like a sport sedan than an SUV – these are attributes that make the Audi A5 compact luxury crossover SUV a compelling choice for consumers looking for safest crossover SUVs. A midsize luxury crossover SUV, the Audi Q5, an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2009, also has stellar National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test scores (5 star frontal and side-impact tests, 4 star rollover tests) for 2009 and 2010. Automobile comments: “The Q5 is based on the same platform as the new Audi A4, so it’s perhaps no surprise that this new crossover drives more like a sport sedan than an SUV. In that vein, it’s a lot like the new Infiniti FX50 and the BMW X6: SUVs with a whole new level of driving prowess.”
  • Subaru Forester (2009-2010) – Compact in size but loaded with extras, the Subaru Forester 3rd-generation (redesigned in 2009) crossover SUV proves that good things come in small packages – Forester was even named 2009 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year. As with all Subaru models, Forester features standard AWD, and achieves NHTSA 5-star frontal/side-impact and 4-star rollover test ratings. In an Edmunds First Drive of the 2009 model, editors state: “Safety has always been a strong point of the Forester, and this concern is reflected in the new Forester’s adoption of curtain side-impact airbags with a rollover sensor, brake assist, stability control, and of course an indicator for ‘road surface freezing’ as part of the outside temperature display.”
  • Volkswagen Tiguan (2010) – With unique exterior styling that’s been called an interesting blend of Touareg and GTI, the Volkswagen Tiguan compact crossover SUV offers consumers sporty handling, upscale feel in the high-quality interior, powerful 200-hp turbocharged engine, and added safety features such as electronic stabilization program with brake assist, electronic brake pressure distribution, and anti-slip regulation. Adding to its appeal, the 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan has a 5-star rating in NHTSA frontal/side-impact and 4 stars in rollover testing. Road & Track says: “While the other vehicles in the segment feel like SUVs, the VW is different; it is downright fun. It handles well, responds quickly and does not suffer from body roll.”

Go ahead and check out these contenders for Safest Crossover SUVs – and be prepared to smile.

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