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Four Small Cars Get IIHS Top Safety Pick Designation

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2013 Acura ILX

2013 Acura ILX

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Four new 2013 vehicles have picked up 'good' ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) crash tests.

The Acura ILX, a small luxury car, the new Ford Escape crossover, and the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S sports car twins have all been awarded the IIHS top award for good performance in the moderate overlap frontal, side, rollover and rear-impact tests.

The ILX is Acura's entry into the small luxury car market, currently occupied by vehicles like the Lexux CT 200h. Based on the current Honda Civic, the ILX also provides Acura with its first hybrid model, a car we drove last month.

It uses a 1.5-liter, 111-horsepower engine and 15-kilowatt electric motor, and delivers EPA-rated mileage of 38 mpg combined. The Civic on which the ILX is based achieves 44 mpg on the same cycle.

The 2013 Ford Escape gave a considerably better performance in IIHS testing than its predecessor, particularly in rollover tests. Previous Escapes were rated only marginal, and the fuel-efficient hybrid model received a 'poor' rating in the same test.

The high ratings will no doubt ease Ford's pains over the Escape's second recall for potential engine bay fires in as many months.

The Japanese sports coupe duo of Subaru's BRZ and Scion's FR-S also achieved top ratings from the IIHS.

With an automatic transmission the BRZ and FR-S achieve 28 mpg combined, with 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway ratings. While not up to the levels of some cars we feature on GreenCarReports, those numbers compare very favorably to other sports cars on the market, such as the 2012 Mazda MX-5 (24 mpg combined) and 2013 Ford Mustang V-6 (23 mpg combined).

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