How to buy a relatively safe fuel-efficient motor vehicle

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Tom Adams

Sep 30, 2010, 11:22:58 AM9/30/10
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I want to bring this to the attention of those who might be shopping
for fuel-efficient cars.

ESC is considered to be the greatest advance in safety since the
seatbelt. It will be required on all 2012 cars in the US, but it's
still optional or not available on some 2010 and 2011 models:

Fuel-efficient cars tend to be the ones that don't ESC as a standard

With a little care, you can get a fuel-efficient car with near-

This is good site to use:

But be aware that informedforlife uses average values when NHTSA or
IIHS did not test a particular safety parameter. This can bias the
safety measure for some models. You can see which values are missing
and replaced with the average if you look carefully at the data

This site identifies which cars have ESC standard, optional, or not

When ESC is optional on a model you have to research the trims (aka
sub-models) of the model. For instance, for the Honda Fit, google the
words "Hond fit safety review" or "Honda fit stability control"
without parenthesis. You will find that only Sport trim of the 2010
Honda Fit has ESC.

I noticed that 2 people in my vanpool were looking into buying a Fit
and were probably going to end up exposing themselves and their
families to a car without ESC for the next decade.

The EU has a good ESC awareness site :

There is probably only one consumer product that you ever buy that
a 1 in 500 chance of killing you, and it's a motor vehicle.

Tom Adams

Sep 30, 2010, 11:26:53 AM9/30/10
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One link was broken:

Tom Adams

Sep 30, 2010, 11:29:11 AM9/30/10
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Another broken link corrected:

Tom Adams

Oct 26, 2010, 9:03:47 AM10/26/10
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There will be an ESC-related pricing anomaly in 2012 model prices.
Currently, a person in the US market for some of the most fuel-
efficient cars typically needs to pay $3,000 or more over the base
price to get ESC, mostly due to bundling. But ESC will be mandatory
for the 2012 model year and it will increase the price of the base
model by only ~$300 according to NHTSA costs estimates.

On Sep 30, 11:22 am, Tom Adams <> wrote:
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