Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Just 15 vehicles met tougher criteria for 2018 IIHS safety picks

Just 15 vehicles met tougher criteria for 2018 IIHS safety picks

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with its latest list of the safest vehicles.

The safety advocacy group, which performs a variety of crash tests on vehicles, added two new tests in the past year: one for improved headlights, which was included in the 2017 "Top Pick Plus" ranking, but not in the "Top Pick" results, and the new passenger-side small overlap front crash. Twelve cars and three SUVs from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, Lincoln, Subaru, and Toyota earned that distinction from the IIHS for 2018.

The new passenger-side small overlap test marks the first time IIHS has focused a crash test on the front passenger's safety. How well a vehicle scored in a passenger-side crash test was also factored in. "Our new test is to try to achieve that", said Adrian Lund, President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "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".

Forty-seven others did earn the lesser Top Safety Pick award.

Crash tests have been part of the IIHS's playbook for years to make sure drivers are protected, but this year it made a decision to add tests to see how well passengers are protected.

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Hyundai - which includes some Kias - and Subaru were the big winners, earning the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards.

"That company had six Top Safety Pick+ winners there", Lund said. Check out the full list of models that qualify.

The IIHS gave the award to only 15 vehicles, compared to 69 past year.

The awarded vehicles went through a number of crash tests to show they can protect occupants in front-, side-, rollover and rear-impact collisions, as well as tests of their emergency braking systems.

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