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8 Most Dangerous Luxury Cars

Although generally well-built, they're not designed to deflect small overlap frontal crashes

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2012 Lexus ES 350

#8: Lexus ES 350

  • Small overlap frontal crash test rating: poor
  • J.D. Power Initial Quality: 5 out of 5
  • Price: $36,725
  • 2011 sales: 40,873

When the IIHS put the Lexus ES 350 through its new test, the dummy’s head barely made contact with the front airbag, with the head sliding off the left side. Meanwhile, the steering column moved significantly to the right and up, diminishing the protection to the chest in a high-impact collision. Neither the side curtain airbag nor the side torso airbag deployed in the crash test. IIHS notes that “injuries to the left knee and left lower leg, ankle, and heel would be likely in a crash of this severity.” Despite this, the car received “good” scores for all the other “Top Safety Pick” crash tests, with an exception of a “marginal” rating in the rear crash protection test. In 2011, the ES 350 sales were a whopping 50.7% lower than 2007 sales, including a 16% drop from 2010.

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