The 2005 Subaru Outback sport utility vehicle was the top-rated vehicle in the government's latest frontal and side impact crash tests while the Chrysler 300 topped the passenger car ratings. Ford vehicles got the lowest ratings in two categories.
In fact, the Outback was the only vehicle in the latest group to earn the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) top rating of five-stars for all seating positions.
The 2005 Chrysler 300 and its corporate twin, the Dodge Magnum, received the highest scores for a passenger car - five-stars for frontal crash in both seating positions and four-stars and five-stars, respectively, for side impact crash in the driver and rear seating positions.
In rollover testing, the highest rated pickup trucks were the 2005 Dodge Ram 4x2, the Chevrolet Colorado 4x4, and its corporate twin, the GMC Canyon 4x4, each receiving four-stars, a 17.9 percent chance of rollover, if involved in a single-vehicle crash. NHTSA uses both a five-star scale and a percent chance of rollover to rate a vehicle on its likelihood of rollover in a single-vehicle crash.
The two-door Ford Focus and the Ford Ranger 4x4 pickup were the worst performers. NHTSA gave the Focus three out of five stars for driver's side protection and four out of five stars for rear passenger protection. The Ranger 4x4 got two stars in the rollover ratings.
NHTSA's consumer information program uses a one-to-five star rating system, with five being the highest. Star ratings reflect a vehicle's ability to protect the driver and passenger in a crash.
All NHTSA ratings can be found at www.safercar.gov.