Hyundai and Subaru Earn the Most IIHS Top Safety Picks for 2018

Cesar Mills
December 8, 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has honored 15 vehicles with their Top Safety Pick+ honor.

Fifteen vehicles earned the group's highest award of Top Safety Pick+, which is lower than past year.

Over the last decade, vehicle safety has improved dramatically as automakers recognize that safety is a big selling point. Six out of seven in Subaru's 2018 lineup earned the award with the Impreza, Legacy, Outback, and WRX netting Top Safety Pick+ when outfitted with optional front-crash prevention and specific headlights. As a whole, foreign models edged out American models for safety.

The IIHS is putting more focus on passenger safety this year with the addition of a new small-overlap front passenger crash test. The institute also tests headlight systems where IIHS engineers measure the reach of a vehicle's headlights on straight roads and on curves.

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New for 2018, the passenger side small overlap crash was added to the evaluations and a vehicle must also receive a "Good" or "Acceptable" rating.

"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. With 15 of those earning its highest award despite tougher criteria requiring better headlights and enhanced passenger side protection.

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. The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ.

"The improvements in occupant protection have been wonderful over the past decades", he said in a statement. In line with's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers.

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