updated 5/14/2007 12:01:04 AM ET 2007-05-14T04:01:04

The 2007 Acura MDX sport utility vehicle and the 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable passenger cars received top scores in new crash tests released Monday by the insurance industry.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave its highest score of “good” in frontal, side and rear-impact testing for the vehicles, built by Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co.

The MDX, Taurus and Sable received the Institute’s “top safety pick” award, given to vehicles that receive the highest scores on the crash tests and have electronic stability control.

The Taurus replaces the Ford Five Hundred, which received the “top safety pick” designation in 2006 but was not included for the 2007 model year because it didn’t offer electronic stability control. Stability control is optional on the 2008 Taurus and Sable, which also offer side air bags with head protection as standard equipment.

Earlier versions of the 2007 MDX had low ratings in seat/head restraints, but Honda engineers improved the design of the head restraint, helping the vehicle receive improved scores, the IIHS said.

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