Saturn Astra Named Safest for Under $25k

In last month's issue of Car and Driver, the magazine profiled the Top 10 safest vehicles available for under $25,000. The 2008 Saturn Astra topped their list.

"Vehicular safety is focused in two areas: accident prevention and crashworthiness," wrote C&D. "Factors such as handling, braking performance, and stability control play into the first; airbags, chassis deformation, and crumple zones the second."

Saturn's Astra has both angles covered with a stability control system (standard on the Astra 3-door hatchback and offered as an option on the 5-door model), six airbags (two dual-stage frontal, two seat-mounted thorax/pelvic, and two head curtain side air bags), active head restraints, a pedal release system, tire pressure monitoring system, and crumple zones that do a good job absorbing impacts. While the Astra hasn't been crash tested by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency's European equivalent – the NCAP – has with very encouraging results.

According to Car and Driver:

"The European NCAP crowned the Astra the safest compact sedan in Europe, earning a score better than even the BMW 1-series. Again assuming parity with the European hardware, the stability control system even features 'Understeer Control Logic,' which knows to increase brake pressure on the inner rear wheel. Neat."

Below is the full list of the magazine's 10 safest car for under $25k:

  • Saturn Astra
  • Scion xB
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Volkswagen Rabbit
  • Mini Cooper
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volvo C30
  • Dodge Charger
  • Honda Accord
  • Mazda CX-7

Source: Car and Driver, Saturn

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