These 15 vehicles are IIHS' top safety picks for 2018

Saul Bowman
December 8, 2017

Here is a link to all the top safety picks, which includes the reasons why they were chosen.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with its results of the safest cars of 2018 and the news is encouraging.

Requirements for the awards became stricter this year, now demanding good-rated headlights and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in front-end crashes.

Fifteen vehicles earned the group's highest award of Top Safety Pick+, which is lower than past year. Hyundai, also the owner of the Kia and Genesis brands, produced six models earning the top award, while Subaru has four, the IIHS said in announcing its annual list.

IIHS President Adrian Lund explains the testing processes implemented for the "Top Pick Plus" ranking.

Safety tests this year included a passenger-side crash test, a first for the IIHS award.

"Toyota and Lexus remain committed to providing safe and reliable vehicles and we're proud to have Toyota Safety Sense and Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment on nearly every new model in our line-up". The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ.

IIHS assesses a vehicle's crashworthiness with six tests: moderate overlap front, driver-side small overlap front, (new) passenger-side small overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints and seats.

For midsize cars, Subaru again got mentions with the Legacy and Outback, as did the Toyota Camry.

IIHS is placing more emphasis on the impact of headlights on the safety rating of new vehicles.

Headlights also had to perform to standards in another new test in order to earn top ratings.

"All automakers have pledged to make auto braking standard equipment on their vehicles by 2022", said Lund. The track tests, which measure how well low beams and high beams illuminate the road ahead on the one hand, and the amount of glare they produce for drivers of oncoming vehicles on the other.

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