A desire for quality and safety remain strong when purchasing a new vehicle these days despite our limited budgets. The sensible approach in the quest for economical and affordable safety has taken over in our bigger ticket item purchases. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released their reduced top safety choices for the 2010 model year recently. In order to qualify for this award, each vehicle is required to come equipped with ESC or Electronic Stability Control, along with the highest roof strength possible. The stricter standards on model roof strength considered in rollover ratings left previous award-winners out in the cold. Other deciding factors include the best protection against front, rear and side impact. The most surprising is how many of the top rated fell into the under $25,000 price range.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, frontal impacts accounted for 52 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2008. Side impacts accounted for another 28 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths and an additional 16 percent account for rollover crashes.

The Honda Civic and Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Volkswagen Golf, Tiguan and Jetta, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger, Volvo C30 and Jeep Patriot round out the best for the under $25,000. This broad range can satisfy several tastes. Unfortunately, most consumers do not solely base their purchase on the IIHS safety rating because there are several other factors to consider. It does make knowing that the amount of money spent will determine just how safe your most precious cargo will remain just in case that day ever comes.

About The Author

Sarah Mullins is Blast's Automotive Editor

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