There is no substitute.
Four of eight midsize cars earned good ratings in side impact crash tests recently conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. None of the cars received a poor rating. The 2004 Saab 9-3, 2004 Acura TL, 2004 Lexus ES 330, and 2005 Mitsubishi Galant are rated good for side impact protection. The 2004 Saab 9-5, 2005 Mercedes C class, and 2005 Volvo S40 earned acceptable ratings. The 2004 Jaguar X-Type is rated marginal.
"Earning a 'double best pick' is a rare achievement," says Institute chief operating officer Adrian Lund. "The only other vehicle to have done this is the Toyota RAV4, a small SUV, and then only when it was equipped with optional side airbags."