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NEW YORK — Forbes.com recently named what it considers to be the safest 2010 small cars. The publication's list of seven vehicles was dominated by Asian brands, especially Honda, which had two of its models make the list.

Explaining the list in more detail, Forbes.com's Hannah Elliot noted that the publication determined which vehicles made the list based on Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash test data, which evaluates vehicles for their protection in high-speed front and side crashes, rollover tests and rear-impact tests.

"IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests and a rollover test. It also evaluates seat and head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts," Elliot wrote.

"Our list includes the cars listed in the micro, mini and small-car segments that received up to one 'acceptable' rating among its ‘good' ratings," she further explained. "It does not include vehicles that have not been fully tested for front, side, rear and rollover crashes

The following vehicles made the list: Honda Civic, Honda Fit, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Golf, smart fortwo,

Moreover, the four-door Civic, Soul, Cube, Impreza and Golf received "good" ratings in all four safety categories. Elliot explained that because of this and the fact that each of those five models offers electronic stability control, they were put on the IIHS 2010 Top Safety Picks list.

Meanwhile, the Fit had an "acceptable" rollover rating and the fortwo had an "acceptable" rear-test rating, but "good" ratings in the rest of their respective tests.