IIHS releases 2018 Top Safety Picks

Courtesy of the IIHL

NEW YORK — Crash tests have long been a key element in how the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates vehicles. Side impact and hits to front on the driver’s side are analyzed, but this year the group added a new test: crashes to the front on the passenger side.

“We’ve been doing small overlap frontal crash tests on the driver’s side since 2012 and we’ve seen a lot of improvement on that side, but we weren’t seeing that kind of for passengers,” said Adrian Lund, the president of the IIHS.

Fifteen vehicles earned the group’s highest award of Top Safety Pick +.

It’s a drop from last year and the new crash tests are not the only reason why.

The IIHS is also raising it’s standards for headlights.

“We rate headlamps because when we look at how they light up the road many of them aren’t doing a very good job. The difference between a headlamp that rates as good as far as how far down the road you can see and one that we rate as poor, it literally is night and day,” Lund said. “We think it’s important that manufacturers improve how lamps light up the road because the most serious crashes happen at night.”

Vehicles that come with auto braking also earn high marks and many automakers have pledged to make it a standard feature by 2022.

“Cars are safer now than they ever have been.”

Lund said with even more improvements in crash test performance and headlights, vehicles will be even safer down the road.

Top Safety Pick + Award Winners

Small cars
Kia Forte sedan
Kia Soul
Subaru Impreza
4-door sedan | 4-door wagon
Subaru WRX

Midsize cars
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback
Toyota Camry

Large luxury cars
BMW 5 series
Genesis G80
Genesis G90
Lincoln Continental
Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan

Midsize SUVs
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Midsize luxury SUV
Mercedes-Benz GLC

Top Safety Pick Winners

Small cars
Chevrolet Volt
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Elantra GT
Mazda 3
4-door sedan | 4-door hatchback
Subaru Crosstrek
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius Prime

Midsize cars
Honda Accord
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Optima
Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima

Midsize luxury cars
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Audi A3
Audi A4
BMW 3 series sedan
Lexus ES
Lexus IS
Volvo S60
Volvo V60

Large cars
Kia Cadenza
Toyota Avalon

Small SUVs
Honda CR-V
Hyundai Tucson
Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-3
Mazda CX-5
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Rogue
Subaru Forester
Toyota RAV4

Midsize SUVs
Honda Pilot
Kia Sorento
Mazda CX-9
Toyota Highlander

Midsize luxury SUVs
Acura MDX
Acura RDX
Buick Envision
Lexus NX
Lexus RX
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
Volvo XC60

Minivans
Chrysler Pacifica
Honda Odyssey

Large pickup
Honda Ridgeline