Automakers are increasingly building safer vehicles that can withstand a crash and protect drivers and passengers. Case in point: The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is awarding 90 vehicles in 2021 with either its coveted Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick designation. In 2020, the IIHS awarded a total of 64 vehicles with one of the two titles.
This year, 49 vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick+ award (compared to 23 in 2020), and another 41 vehicles the Top Safety Pick award. The difference between the two is the “plus” – a designation given to models that have good or acceptable headlights across all trim levels and packages.
All the vehicles selected require good ratings in each of the six crashworthiness tests the IIHS performs. The vehicles must also have or can be equipped with headlights that meet the Institute’s standards, and, a front-crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian situations.
For consumers, not only does driving a vehicle that’s equipped with driver-assist technologies and additional safety features provide peace-of-mind, having them could result in a discount on their car insurance premiums.
“With these awards, we want to make it easy for consumers to find vehicles that provide good protection in crashes, sufficient lighting and effective front crash protection,” says IIHS President David Harkey. “Manufacturers have stepped up to meet the challenge, and the list of great options has grown to an impressive size this year.”
Improving headlights make a big difference
According to the IIHS, at highway speeds, it takes a driver 1.5 seconds to react to an obstacle under ideal conditions. During this time a vehicle will continue to travel for 120 feet (or about 37 metres). When driving at night, therefore, a vehicle’s headlights should light the way beyond this distance to minimize the risk of a collision.
When equipped with the necessary front-crash prevention systems (which may not be a standard feature on every model), the following vehicles are this year’s Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick award winners.
IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick+ Winners: Cars, SUVs, Minivans
|Small cars||Midsize cars||Midsize luxury cars||Large luxury cars||Small SUVs||Midsize SUVs||Midsize luxury SUVs||Large SUVs||Minivans|
|Honda Insight||Honda Accord||Acura TLX||Audi A6||Mazda CX-3||Ford Explorer||Acura RDX||Audi e-tron||Honda Odyssey|
|Mazda 3 hatchback||Kia 5||Lexus ES 350||Audi A6 Allroad||Mazda CX-5||Hyundai Palisade||Cadillac XT6||Audi e-tron Sportback||Toyota Sienna|
|Mazda 3 sedan||Mazda 6||Lexus IS||Audi A7||Mazda CX-30||Mazda CX-9||Hyundai Nexo|
|Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid||Nissan Altima||Tesla Model 3||Genesis G70||Nissan Rogue||Subaru Ascent||Lexus NX|
|Nissan Maxima||Volvo S60||Genesis G90||Subaru Forester||Toyota Highlander||Mercedes-Benz GLE|
|Subaru Legacy||Volvo S60 Recharge||Volvo XC60|
|Subaru Outback||Volvo V60||Volvo XC60 Recharge|
|Toyota Camry||Volvo V60 Recharge||Volvo XC90|
|Volvo XC90 Recharge|
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IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick Winners: Cars
|Small cars||Midsize cars||Midsize luxury cars||Large cars|
|Honda Civic hatchback||Hyundai Sonata||Audi A4||Kia Stinger|
|Honda Civic sedan||Audi Ad Sportback|
|Hyundai Veloster||BMW 3 series|
|Kia Forte||Mercedes-Benz C-Class|
|Subaru Impreza sedan|
|Subaru Impreza wagon|
|Toyota Corolla hatchback|
|Toyota Corolla sedan|
IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick Winners: SUVs and Pickups
|Small SUVs||Midsize SUVs||Midsize luxury SUVs||Large SUVs||Large pickups|
|Chevrolet Equinox||Ford Edge||Lexus RX||Audi Q8||Ram 1500|
|Ford Escape||Kia Sorento||Lincoln Aviator|
|Honda CR-V||Kia Telluride||Mercedes-Benz GLC|
|Hyundai Kona||Volkswagen Tiguan|
|Toyota RAV4 Prime|