The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named three new Top Safety Picks Tuesday, which include the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, 2012 Hyundai Azera and 2012 Toyota Prius c. These great crash test scores provide an added level of assurance, but some members of the press point out that exceptional safety is becoming an expectation on newly redesigned family cars.

“Winning that status has become almost the price of entry, particularly for family cars these days,” writes USA Today. “To get it, the vehicle must get the top score of good in the IIHS crash tests which are tougher than the federal tests and include front, side, rear and rollover crash tests, including a roof-strength test in the rollover in which the roof must be able to withstand four times the vehicle's weight.”

Motor Trend points out that the 2013 Malibu Eco joins the ranks of other affordable midsize cars that have won the award, including the 2012 Ford Fusion, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat.

The 2012 Azera also joins some safe company, including the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon. With the exception of the 2012 Chevrolet Impala, every affordable large car is now an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

While the Malibu Eco and Azera have been recently redesigned, the Prius c is all-new for 2012. The affordable small car now shares Top Safety Pick status with its siblings, the 2012 Prius and Prius v, as well as competing hybrid cars like the Honda Insight and CR-Z.

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