Hyundai, Honda, DaimlerChrysler and Subaru vehicles earned top honours in new US government crash tests of sport utility vehicles, minivans and sedans.

According to The Associated Press, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave five stars in front and side-impact protection to the [newly redesigned, Alabama-produced] Hyundai Sonata sedan and Tucson SUV, Honda Odyssey minivan, Mercedes-Benz ML Class SUV and Subaru B9 Tribeca SUV.

GM's Pontiac G6 two-door coupe received the top score in rollover protection, with the government estimating a 9% chance of rollover in the vehicle, AP noted.

On the other hand, the Mitsubishi Lancer, meanwhile, fared worst in side-impact protection among the vehicles; the four-door version was the only model to get two stars on side-impact protection for the driver, according to the report. The score was based on previous testing and denotes a 21 to 25% chance of serious injury in a real-world crash.

Mitsubishi spokesman Dan Irvin told The Associated Press that it was an old test and said that side curtain air bags will become standard equipment on the vehicle in the 2007 model year. The Lancer received top scores in frontal protection.

AP noted that NHTSA typically conducts new tests on vehicles when they are redesigned and said he majority of vehicles reviewed received either four or five stars in frontal- and side-impact protection. In addition to the vehicles that earned five stars on both tests, other top-performing vehicles included the 2006 Volkswagen Passat, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Dakota, Nissan Armada and Ford Freestar.