2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza earn IIHS "Top Safety Pick"

2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza earn IIHS

Japanese manufacturer Toyota has announced that 2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza have each earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 'Top Safety Pick'.

The "Top Safety Pick" is the highest safety designation awarded by the IIHS, an independent non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurance companies.

To qualify for the award, a vehicle must get "Good" ratings in all four crash tests (front, side, rear and roof) as well as offer electronic stability control.

To earn a "good" rollover rating, the vehicle roof must be able to withstand a force at least four times the weight of the vehicle before crushing in five inches. In the IIHS testing, the Highlander roof withstood a force equal to 4.74 times its vehicle weight. The Venza's roof withstood 4.70 times its vehicle weight.

The Highlander comes with 3.5-liter V6 engine with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and a five-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle comes equipped with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors and front seats while the inerior is finished in leather-trim seats.

New additions to the list of 2010 IIHS Top Safety Picks include the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2011 Kia Sorento, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.