The redesigned 2009 Acura TSX , a midsize luxury car, wins the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s TOP SAFETY PICK award. Winners afford superior overall crash protection among the vehicles in their classes. To qualify, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of good in the Institute’s front, side, and rear tests and be equipped with electronic stability control. The new TSX improved in the side test from acceptable to good and in the rear test from poor to good, compared with the previous model.
"Criteria to win are tough because TOP SAFETY PICK is intended to drive continued improvements such as top crash test ratings and rapid addition of electronic stability control, which is standard equipment on the TSX," says Institute president Adrian Lund. "Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results."
gallery: Acura TSX
"This is the third Acura and the eighth model from Honda to earn our top award," Lund says. "Frontal crashworthiness has improved dramatically for all cars in recent years, but there still are significant differences in how vehicles perform in our side and rear tests."
Huge improvements in protection for people in rear crashes: Seat/head restraints in the 2004-08 TSX were rated poor for occupant protection in rear crashes. Honda redesigned the seats in the 2009 TSX to earn a better rating, and when the Institute tested the new seat, it earned the highest rating of good.
"You don’t know what kind of crash you’re going to be in," Lund says, "so it’s important to choose a vehicle that will protect you in all kinds of crashes."