• The IIHS recently gave 18 new cars its "top safety pick" distinction - a new record for one model year.
  • With the Verano's inclusion among top safety picks, every current Buick has achieved the distinction.
  • Honda and Acura were this year's big winners, with 10 different 2012 models named top safety picks.

Buick's new Verano sedan is one of this year's "top safety picks" according to new data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.  The IIHS recently awarded the coveted designation to the all-new compact Buick and a whopping 17 other 2012 models, which the group says is a record number for one model year.

According to the IIHS, the 18 new top safety picks for 2012 join 97 models that earned the designation last year and remain on the list.  This year, Honda and Acura were the big winners with 10 different vehicles named top safety picks, while Toyota earned three spots.  Other automakers recognized for their 2012 models include BMW, Mercedes, Scion and Subaru, which earned one top-safety pick designation apiece.

But with the Verano's inclusion on the list of top safety picks, Buick can boast a unique feat, as each of the brand's models achieved the important safety designation.  To be named a top safety pick, vehicles tested must include standard stability control and achieve a "good" score in each of the IIHS's four crash tests, which measure frontal, side, rear and rollover collisions. 

"Safety is a top priority in Buick's product renaissance as evidenced by earning these accolades from IIHS on every model," said Gay Kent, GM's executive director of vehicle safety. "Our customers can have confidence in the safety performance of every Buick for sale today."

Other new models added to this year's list of top safety picks include the BMW X3, Subaru Impreza and Mercedes M-class.  Toyota's redesigned Camry also earned its first ever top safety pick designation for 2012, while the new Prius v, Yaris and xD hatchback from Toyota's youthful Scion brand each joined the midsize sedan on the list.

But while Buick can now boast a clean sweep among its model lineup, Honda was the big winner among this year's class of top safety picks.  According to the IIHS, previous Honda models only missed the designation due to their performance in rollover crash tests, which was rectified across the automaker's 2012 lineup with strengthened roof panels.  The new panels helped the Accord, CR-V, CR-Z, Fit, Insight, Pilot and Ridgeline earn the award for the Honda brand, and the MDX, TL and TSX gain the honor among Acura models.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has been naming top safety picks since 2005, when just 11 different models qualified for the sought-after distinction.

What it means to you:

Buick is clearly launching a major charge at established upscale automakers.

author photo

Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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