The 2011 Infiniti EX undergoes roof strength tests.

After the 2010 model missed out, the 2011 Infiniti EX has been named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick. The 2011 Infiniti M sedan is also a Top Safety Pick.

“Infiniti is proud to receive another Top Safety Pick rating from IIHS,” said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore in a press release. “Like all Infiniti vehicles, the 2011 Infiniti EX35 luxury crossover is designed to offer owners a strong sense of peace of mind, whether from its exhilarating driving performance, engaging interior environment, advanced technology or long list of standard safety features.”

IIHS Top Safety Picks are vehicles that earn the highest possible scores in frontal offset, side and rear crash tests, as well as head restraints and roof strength tests.  All Top Safety Picks must also have standard electronic stability control.

The 2010 EX missed Top Safety Pick status because of roof strength tests. Automobile Magazine reports that for 2011, Infiniti strengthened the roof on the EX to help it pass the IIHS test.

Autoblog explains, “The roof test is measured by pressing a metal plate into a corner of the roof at a constant rate. The pressure continues to build until five inches of crush is achieved. If the roof can withstand at least four times the overall weight of the vehicle, it receives a score of ‘Good.’”

The EX isn’t the only luxury compact SUV to earn Top Safety Pick status. The Audi Q5, Mercedes Benz GLK and Volvo XC60 are also Top Safety Picks. While the Top Safety Pick award for the EX certainly improves its appeal as a family car, many reviewers aren’t sold on its practicality. It has a small backseat and limited cargo space for an SUV.  If you’re looking for a safe small SUV, the EX is a good choice, but if you want something that can also handle family duty, you may want to consider the Volvo XC60 or Audi Q5.

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