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Old 08-21-2007, 08:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 36
Lightbulb Saturn Astra Named Safest Car Under $25,000

August 20, 2007

The Saturn Astra is the safest vehicle on sale in the U.S. for under $25,000 according to Car and Driver Magazine.

The Astra is followed on the list of the top 10 safest vehicles under $25,000 by the Scion xB, 2008 Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Rabbit, Mini Cooper, Toyota Camry, Volvo C30, Dodge Charger, Honda Accord and Mazda CX-7.

The magazine reports that accident prevention and crash worthiness are the two primary factors in picking the winners.

The Astra goes on sale in late 2007 as a 2008 model, replacing the Ion. It's the latest European Opel to be rebadged as a Saturn. It will be sold in three-door and five-door configurations.

The magazine considers handling, braking performance, and stability control as part of accident prevention. Airbags, chassis deformation and crumple zones are considered in determining crash worthiness.

In order to be in the running for the safety award, the cars must have stability control systems and six airbags, including curtain airbags to protect the head.

Federal safety rules only require two airbags, one for the driver and one for the front seat passenger.

Stability control systems use data such as steering-wheel position and yaw and roll rates to detect a skid and then uses anti-lock braking and traction-control systems for prevention and recovery.

Stability-control systems across manufacturers work with greater and lesser levels of complexity, sophistication, and efficacy.


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