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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Releases Latest List of Safest Vehicles

08 December 2017
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Releases Latest List of Safest Vehicles

This year, 62 vehicle models earned the institute's top safety pick award.

This year the criteria proved a bit more hard to meet.

IIHS has been recognizing vehicles with TOP SAFETY PICK since the 2006 model year to help consumers identify vehicles with the highest safety ratings without having to wade through information about individual tests.

Vehicles that come with autobraking also earn high marks.

To qualify for either award, vehicles must earn the a good rating in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations, as well as earn an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

"Doesn't mean that vehicles have gotten less safe, it really just reflects that we've raised the bar", IIHS President Adrian Lund told CBS.

No minivans or pickup trucks received a Top Safety Pick Plus award.

The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones being released in March 2016. Only 15 of them earned the highest honors.

Subaru had the most Safety Pick+ vehicles.

New model-year 2018 vehicles to earn the plus designation include the BMW 5 Series; Genesis G80 and G90; Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport; Kia Forte sedan and Soul; Lincoln Continental; Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and GLC; Subaru Impreza, WRX, Legacy and Outback; and Toyota Camry. All but one of the seven vehicles in Subaru's lineup, the BRZ, qualified for one of the awards.

The vast majority of award winners only qualify when optionally equipped with front crash prevention and acceptable or good headlights aren't part of their base trims, the institute said.

While automakers are claiming that kind of technology will be standard equipment in the near future, it won't be in all cases so if you are driving one of the "Top Pick Plus" vehicles, you may be simply driving its lower-priced, and lower rated, sibling instead. In order to meet the top ranking, and in some instances, simply being a "Top Pick", the vehicle must be upgraded.

As more 2018 models are tested, IIHS will expand the list. Over the years, IIHS has added to and strengthened criteria for both awards, pushing automakers to speed up safety advances.