As you already know, the IIHS gives this award to all vehicles which earn highest rating of “good” in the IIHS’ front, side, rollover (a test added in 2010) and rear impact tests. Moreover, the cars must be equipped with electronic stability control.
On the recently introduced rollover test, the vehicles must prove their roof is capable of supporting the equivalent of four times its weight. In Highlander's case, the roof withstood a force equal to 4.74 times its vehicle weight, while the Venza roof withstood 4.70 times its vehicle weight.
The Highlander retails in the US from $32,480 for the Highlander SE 4x2. The car is equipped with the 3.5-liter V6 engine with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and a five-speed automatic transmission.
For the SE, Toyota offers leather-trim seats, heated front seats, Tri-Zone automatic front and rear air conditioning, power tilt/slide moonroof, AM/FM audio system with a six-disc CD changer, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, Homelink universal transceiver, heated outside mirrors, Daytime Running Lights, and a tow package.
The vehicles which received the award this week come to complete the similar feats achieved by the 2011 Sienna and 2011 Avalon. Earlier this year, the 2010 Corolla managed to be named Top Safety Pick as well.