IIHS Taps 64 Models as Top Safety Picks for 2018

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with its latest list of the safest vehicles. Toyota led the pack with 11 vehicles in the "Top Pick Plus" and "Top Pick" categories combined with Hyundai (9) and Subaru (7) taking the next two spots.

Hyundai, which owns Genesis and Kia, has six models on the list, while Subaru has four.

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.

Crash tests and safety standard evaluations found 62 models earned the Top Safety Pick award, and 15 of those models earned the highest award possible, despite tougher criteria for headlights and passenger safety.

An additional 47 vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick rating. The Crosstrek and Forester earn Top Safety Pick, also with option front-crash prevention and specific headlights.

Every Subaru model except the BRZ coupe earned the rating.

"Automakers have really come to grips with the fact that safety is an important component of consumer choice, and they are working hard to meet the criteria", Lund said, USA Today reported. How well a vehicle scored in a passenger-side crash test was also factored in.

The institute rates front crash prevention by conducting low- and moderate-speed track tests of vehicles with automatic braking systems.

The first official passenger-side ratings were released in October, following research tests a year ago.

"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", Lund said.

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

Of the hundreds of vehicle models on the road today, only 15 have earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2018 due to tougher safety requirements when it comes to passenger side front collisions.

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