Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has the pleasure of crashing some of the newest vehicles money can buy. And we do mean pleasure, as they take great pride in using these crash tests to steer people towards the safest of vehicles. This gallery focuses on the 2009 Top Safety Picks in the midsize category of SUVs. To earn the designation Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must pass through a battery of severe simulated accidents and produce results in front, rear, and side tests that would indicate a low risk of any significant injuries to potential occupants (earning them a , or good rating). Each vehicle must also have electronic stability control to make the list, too. Each vehicle page provides links to more detailed test results, as well as key standard safety features and links for more information on the vehicle itself. We've also included a photo from each test to give you a sense of just what these SUVs are built to protect you from. You'll notice for some 2009 vehicles an older photo is used; this generally means the vehicle hasn't changed enough in recent years to warrant an entirely new set of tests.
Photos courtesy of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety