• New report: The 15 safest cars and SUVs for 2018

    By: Mike Timmermann

    Updated:

    Only 15 vehicles received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top safety award after stricter requirements were put in place for 2018.

    The organization has just released two annual lists: Top Safety Pick Plus and Top Safety Pick.

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    These are the safest vehicles for 2018 

    To qualify for Top Safety Pick Plus — the highest honor — vehicles must now have good headlight ratings and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in small overlap front crashes.

    The Top Safety Pick Plus winners include 12 cars and 3 SUVs, but no minivans or pickups earned the highest award.

    In addition, another 47 vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick — the second-tier honor — which now requires acceptable or good headlights. 

    Here’s the criteria for each award, followed by a list of the winners:

    Top Safety Pick+ criteria

    • Good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests
    • Acceptable or Good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test
    • Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention
    • Good headlight rating

    Top Safety Pick+ winners — 15 vehicles 

    Small cars

    Midsize cars

    Large luxury cars

    Midsize SUVs

    Midsize luxury SUV

    Top Safety Pick criteria 

    • Good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests
    • Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention
    • Acceptable or Good headlight rating

    Top Safety Pick winners — 47 vehicles 

    Small cars

    Midsize cars

    Midsize luxury cars

    Large cars

    Small SUVs

    Midsize SUVs

    Midsize luxury SUVs

    Minivans

    Large pickup

    More details 

    One important note: The “vast majority” of winners qualify only when optionally equipped because front crash prevention and acceptable or good headlights aren’t part of their base trims, IIHS said.

    The organization releases ratings as it evaluates new models, so check IIHS.org to see an updated list of winners.

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been recognizing vehicles with the Top Safety Pick designation since the 2006 model year and added Top Safety Pick Plus in the 2013 model year.

    IIHS said it has repeatedly strengthened criteria for both awards to push automakers to speed up safety advances.

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