Stored above the vehicle's side windows, these air bags deploy in a side impact or rollover, protecting all occupants and keeping them inside the vehicle. Cost: $270. Incremental fatality reduction: 175.
A combined body and frame reduces the number of parts needed, saving money to pay for higher-strength steel that improves safety and reduces weight. Cost: $0. Fuel economy improvement: 8%. Incremental fatality reduction: 250.
* Advanced high-strength steel and aluminum further reduce unibody weight while maintaining safety. Cost: $1000. Fuel economy improvement: 25-30%. Incremental fatality reduction: >250.
Lower rolling-resistance tires with better materials and design save fuel and maintain good traction. A smoother, lower body with redesigned mirrors improves aerodynamics. Accessories are more efficient. Cost: $185. Fuel economy improvement: 6%.
When the vehicle begins to lose control or roll, this system reduces engine power and applies brakes on the appropriate wheels to compensate. Cost: $240. Incremental fatality reductions: 450.
Unibody construction absorbs more of the SUV's share of the crash forces, protecting occupants and others on the road. Lower bumpers help keep the SUV from riding up over other vehicles. Cost: Included in unibody. Incremental fatality reduction: 100.
Nearly 60% of occupants killed on the highway were not wearing their seat belts. A computer senses the number of passengers and emits a gentle but increasingly insistent reminder until all are belted. Cost: $25. Incremental fatality reduction: 900.
Stronger metals and an improved roll cage-like design prevent the roof from collapsing in a rollover accident. Cost: $50. Incremental fatality reduction: 700.
During a rollover, the seat belts are pulled snug to hold occupants more securely. Cost: $60. Incremental fatality reduction: 325.
Low-friction lubricants, four valves per cylinder, and variable valve control reduce engine friction and pumping loses and improve combustion efficiency. Cost: $415. Fuel economy improvement: 13%.
* A gasoline direct-injection engine provides higher efficiency. Cost: $470. Fuel economy improvement: 20%.
Added gears help the engine operate more efficiently while providing plenty of power. Eliminating the torque converter means less power lost while driving. Cost: $0. Fuel economy improvement: 9%.
Allows the engine to shut off at stoplights and in stop-and-go traffic. Restarts the engine when you take your foot off the brake. Cost: $660. Fuel economy improvements: 11%.
* Indicates features that are standard on the Guardian XSE model only
To learn more:
download Full Report.pdf (2.5MB)
view the Blueprint Poster.pdf (1.8MB)