WASHINGTON -- The 2007 Toyota Camry and 2006 RAV4 small sport utility vehicle earned top marks in front and side crash tests released yesterday by the insurance industry.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Camry and RAV4 top scores among six vehicles tested in protecting passengers in a crash. The redesigned Camry has standard curtain-style side air bags to protect passengers' heads and side air bags to protect front seat motorists' midsections.
The 2006 Kia Optima and 2007 Dodge Caliber also earned top scores in frontal tests, but the Caliber had the second-to-lowest score of marginal in side tests. The Optima was not tested on side protection.
The Caliber was an improvement upon its past version, the Dodge Neon sedan, providing protection to heads through side curtain air bags. The Neon had been rated poor in side-impact tests.
Max Gates, a spokesman for DaimlerChrysler AG, said the automaker will be adding optional side air bags in the Caliber to protect the torso later in the 2007 model year.
The 2006 Lincoln Zephyr and 2005-06 models of the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage received the second-highest ranking of acceptable in front and side tests.