The 2013 Ford Escape does well in tests with NHTSA and the IIHS.

Over 40 new and redesigned cars, trucks and SUVs are being introduced for the 2013 model year. That's more than 15 percent of the 2013 new car market. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have begun testing these vehicles, and many perform well in crash tests.

Kicking Tires reports that NHTSA released scores for a small batch of new and redesigned models, and they earn good scores. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback joins the Elantra model line and earns an overall score of five out of five stars. It also receives five stars in side crash tests, and a lower score of four stars in front crash tests and for rollover risk. NHTSA has also tested the all-new 2013 Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5, which earn five stars in side crash tests and four stars in the remaining areas. The redesigned Mitsubishi Outlander Sport receives four stars in all tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn’t tested all of these models yet, but the organization has released scores for the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape. Both affordable compact SUVs earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Award because they receive the highest score of “Good” in front, side, roof strength and rollover tests. Earlier this month, we also reported that the IIHS named the 2013 Acura ILX, Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S Top Safety Picks. NHTSA hasn’t rated any of these models yet.

So far, the vehicles that the IIHS and NHTSA have tested make up a small portion of the new and updated 2013 models. Among the models awaiting evaluation are the 2013 BMW X1, Cadillac ATS, Dodge Dart, Ford Fusion and Honda Accord.

As NHTSA and the IIHS release crash test results for the latest models, those ratings impact our new car rankings, so check back to see how cars you're interested in do. If scores aren’t available, begin your research by looking at safety features. Many new models have more standard safety features than models from previous years, and they also tend to offer a lot more optional safety equipment, such as blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems. The redesigned 2013 Honda Accord, for example, offers forward collision warning and lane departure warning, which were unavailable on the 2012 Accord.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also find the best local prices in the area by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.