The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety adds 11 vehicles to its roster of “Top Safety Picks,” further underscoring the group’s focus on available electronic stability control.

ESC appears as standard equipment on nine of the 11 vehicles to receive the IIHS’ top rating in its latest round of testing.

Small cars include the ‘09 Honda Civic and ‘09 Mitsubishi Lancer, both with optional ESC, as well as the ‘08-’09 Scion xB and ‘09 Volkswagen Rabbit.

Top-rated midsize cars include the ‘09 Volkswagen Jetta and Passat. Rounding out the list of top picks are the ‘09 Ford Flex and ‘09 Honda Pilot, both of which IIHS categorizes as midsize SUVs, the ‘09 Toyota Tacoma small pickup and the ‘09 Volkswagen Eos midsize convertible.

According to the IIHS, vehicles must provide superior overall crash protection among the vehicles in their classes to earn designation as a Top Safety Pick.

In addition, the vehicle must earn the highest rating of “good” in the group’s front-, side-, and rear-impact crash tests. It also must be equipped with ESC, the IIHS says.