The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed that 57 vehicle models meet stricter criteria to qualify for a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick award.
Of the vehicles, 30 win the “plus” award with the highest rating for passenger-side protection in a small overlap front crash and have good-rated available headlights. The remaining 27 winners of the second-tier award qualify with an acceptable or higher rating in the newest IIHS crash test and the night-time headlight evaluation.
All 57 vehicles earn good ratings in IIHS’s five other crashworthiness evaluations and have an available automatic emergency braking system that rates advanced or superior for front crash prevention. IIHS now requires a good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test to earn a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ versus an acceptable or good rating for the 2018 award. An acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side test is a new criterion to earn a 2019 Top Safety Pick.
IIHS launched the Top Safety Pick accolade in the 2006 model year to help consumers identify vehicles with the highest safety ratings. Over the years, IIHS has added to and strengthened criteria for both awards to encourage manufacturers to speed up safety advances.
“We challenged manufacturers to provide the best possible protection in a range of crash scenarios and equip vehicles with an automatic emergency braking system to avoid crashes, as well as offer headlights that give drivers confidence when traveling at night,” said IIHS-HLDI President David Harkey. “Fifteen brands hit all the marks to give consumers shopping for a new car a wide variety of 2019 models to consider.”
Twenty automakers have pledged to equip virtually all passenger vehicles with autobrake by 2022. Many are on track to beat the deadline under a voluntary commitment brokered in 2015 by IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Among the 57 vehicles that qualify for either of our 2019 awards, 31 of them have a standard front crash prevention system,” Harkey said. “What’s impressive is that all but one winner earn the highest rating of superior in our track tests, even though an advanced rating is enough to qualify.”
Subaru is the automaker with the most 2019 Top Safety Pick+ winners. The models are the Ascent, Crosstrek, Impreza sedan and wagon, Legacy, Outback and WRX. The Forester falls shy of the top award because its headlights rate acceptable, but the small SUV qualifies for Top Safety Pick.