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Un articolo sulla sicurezza
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Safest cars by model
Consumer Reports rates cars for reliability, and also provides a separate rating for safety that is included in the overall reliability score. "We're the only ones that do a safety rating that combines crash protection and accident avoidance into one score," says Gabe Shenhar, senior auto test engineer and special publications program manager for Consumers Union.

In terms of crash protection, Consumer Reports relies on tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which both conduct independent crash tests and make their data available to consumers. NHTSA bases its ratings on full-frontal and side-impact collisions. IIHS conducts offset-front crashes, a common type of front-end collision, and in 2003 started conducting side-impact collision testing.

Consumer Reports currently uses all the NHTSA results and the IIHS offset-front crash tests and may begin to include the IIHS side-impact collision testing once more results become available, Shenhar says. Consumer Reports weighs results based on how important its experts consider each variable.

As far as accident avoidance goes, auto testing staff members put a car through various road maneuvers designed to test a car's braking, acceleration, emergency handling, visibility, driving position and seat comfort. A car's performance in emergency handling and braking contribute most heavily to the accident avoidance rating, according to Consumers Union.

The magazine published results for 101 new and redesigned 2005 models in October. More results will be available in the April 2005 issue. Consumer Reports breaks down its ratings into the following categories:

Small cars
Five best: Honda Civic EX, Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI, Ford Focus ZX4, Mini Cooper and Volkswagen New Beetle Turbo 5.
Two worst: Hyundai Elantra GLS and Chevrolet Cavalier LS.

Family sedans
Five best: Mazda 6s and I, Volkswagen Passant GLX, Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE, Honda Accord EX and Volkswagen Passant GLS TDI.
Two worst: Kia Optima EX and Ford Taurus SES/Mercury Sable LS.

Upscale and luxury sedans
Five best: Lexus IS300, Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320, Acura TL and TSX, Volvo S80 T6 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class C320.
Two worst: Cadillac CTS and Volvo S60 2.5T.

Large sedans
Four best: Ford Crown Victoria LX/Mercury Grand Marquis LSE, Toyota Avalon XLS, Lincoln Town Car Signature and Buick Park Avenue Ultra.
Two worst: Pontiac Bonneville SE and Buick LeSabre Limited.

Minivans
Four best: Ford Freestar SEL/Mercury Monterey, Nissan Quest 3.5 SL, Toyota Sienna LE and Mazda MPV ES.
Two worst: Kia Sedona EX and Chrysler Town & Country SXT/Dodge Grand Caravan SXT.

Small SUVs
Four best: Subaru Forester 2.5x, Honda Element EX, Honda CR-V EX and Saturn Vue.
Three worst: Kia Sorento LX, Jeep Liberty Sport and Pontiac Aztek.

Mid-sized SUVs
Six best: Infiniti FX35, Lexus RX330, Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Highlander Limited, Cadillac SRX and Nissan Murano 3.5 SE.
Three worst: Ford Explorer XLT 4WD, Buick Rendezvous CL and Chevrolet TrailBlazer SLT/GMC Envoy SLE.

Full-sized crew cab pickups
Three best: Ford F-150 XLT, Toyota Tundra SR5 and Dodge Ram 150SLT (5.7 and 4.7).
Worst: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71/GMC Sierra 1500.