Moderately-priced cars performed better than luxury models

Best family cars in frontal crashes

ARLINGTON, Va. - Are you in the market for a new car?  Before you spend a lot of money on a luxury brand, you may want to consider  a moderately-priced car instead.

In a new frontal crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 13 out of 18 family cars tested earned the group's highest distinction of top safety pick.  Only 3 out of 11 luxury or near-luxury earned a good or acceptable rating.

The IIHS put the cars through a small overlap test, replicating what happens when the front corner of a vehicle hits something like another car, tree or utility pole.

"When we looked at modern vehicles and why people were dying, we found that about a quarter of those deaths in frontal crashes occur in a small overlap crash," Adrian Lund, president of the IIHS, told CNN.  "So we think that this is the next big piece of safety that we can design into the vehicle for people."

Here's a list of the top rated family-cars:

1.  Honda Accord, 4-door (good)

2.  Suzuki Kizashi (good)

3.  Ford Fusion (acceptable)

4.  Honda Accord, 2-door (acceptable)

5.  Kia Optima (acceptable)

6.  Nissan Altima, 4-door (acceptable)

7.  Nissan Maxima (acceptable)

8.  Subaru Legacy (acceptable)

9.  Subaru Outback (acceptable)

10.  Dodge Avenger (acceptable)

11.  Chrysler 200, 4-door (acceptable)

12.  Mazda 6 (acceptable)

13.  Volkswagen Passat (acceptable)

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