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by Matt Brogan

The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety introduced a far more stringent standard when awarding its coveted Top Safety list this year with a renewed focus on heightened roof strength test standards.

The only manufacturer with a model in each category for 2010 was Subaru, which took home an award for each model it offers, aside from the WRX STi.

“With the addition of our new roof strength evaluation, our crash test results now cover all four of the most common kinds of crashes,” said IIHS president Adrian Lund in a statement. “Consumers can use this list to zero in on the vehicles that are on the top rung for safety.”

The awards require top marks in front, side, rear and roll over crash evaluations, the latter of which is tested by pushing a metal plate against one side of the roof at a constant speed. A good rating means that the roof withstood four times the vehicle’s weight without crushing more than five inches (127mm).

The awards list is as follows:

Large cars

  • Buick LaCrosse
  • Ford Taurus
  • Lincoln MKS
  • Volvo S80

Medium cars

  • Audi A3
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chrysler Sebring sedan
  • Dodge Avenger
  • Mercedes C-Class
  • Subaru Legacy (Liberty)
  • Subaru Outback
  • Volkswagen Jetta sedan
  • Volkswagen Passat sedan
  • Volvo C30

Small cars

  • Honda Civic sedan (except Si)
  • Kia Soul
  • Nissan Cube
  • Subaru Impreza (except WRX)
  • Volkswagen Golf four-door

Medium SUVs

  • Dodge Journey
  • Subaru Tribeca
  • Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC90

Small SUVs

  • Honda Element
  • Jeep Patriot
  • Subaru Forester
  • Volkswagen Tiguan