IIHS Introduces New Criteria for 2018 Top Safety Pick Award

IIHS Introduces New Criteria for 2018 Top Safety Pick Award

Earlier this year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced a new passenger-side crash test that is now part of its criteria for a Top Safety Pick award.

For 2018, vehicles must have good-rated headlights and earn a good or acceptable rating on the new passenger-side small overlap front crash test in order to earn a Top Safety Pick+ award. A total of 62 vehicle models meet the tougher criteria to earn 2018 IIHS awards, but just 15 vehicles qualify for the Top Safety Pick+. The remaining 47 earn the 2018 Top Safety Pick award, which now requires acceptable or good headlights, which was part of the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ criteria.

The inclusion of a passenger-side crash test is a first for any IIHS award. The Institute developed the test developed the new test after it became clear that some automakers weren’t paying sufficient attention to passenger-side safety, even though they made improvements for better performance on the driver-side small overlap front test.

SEE ALSO: IIHS Adds New Passenger-Side Crash Test

Most of the Top Safety Pick+ award winners went to two automakers: Hyundai, which owns the Kia and Genesis brands, and Subaru. Mercedes-Benz earned two Top Safety Pick+ awards, while Toyota, BMW, and Lincoln have one each. Toyota however, has the most vehicles on the Top Safety Pick list with 10 total.

Expect the list to grow next year, as IIHS evaluates more 2018 model year vehicles with its new criteria.

“Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund. “Manufacturers have been taking this issue seriously since we first shed light on it, and we’re confident that good small overlap protection will become the norm on the passenger side, just as it has on the driver side.”

2018 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Winners

Small Cars

  • Kia Forte (sedan only)
  • Kia Soul
  • Subaru Impreza
  • 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 only)

Midsize SUVs

  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Midsize Luxury SUV

  • Mercedes-Benz GLC

2018 IIHS Top Safety Pick Winners

Small Cars

  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Hyundai Elantra GT
  • Mazda3
  • 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 only)
  • 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


  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Honda Odyssey

Large Pickup

  • Honda Ridgeline

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