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8 vehicles earn insurance industry's top rating for collision warning

DETROIT - The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is the only non-luxury car to earn the highest rating in tests of high-tech crash prevention systems.

Seven luxury cars have also earned "superior" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when equipped with optional collision warning and automatic braking.

They are the BMW 5 Series, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Buick Regal, Cadillac CTS, Cadillac XTS and 2015 Hyundai Genesis.

To get the highest rating, vehicles must warn drivers of impending collisions and apply automatic brakes to significantly slow the speed. Tests are conducted at 20 kilometres per hour and 40 km/h.

The institute, which is funded by insurers, says 40 per cent of 2014 models now offer forward collision warning, while 20 per cent offer automatic braking. The results may encourage wider adoption of the technology.

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