Car buyers who consider safety a must-have feature can now choose from an even greater variety, according to the 2022 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award list.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its annual list of cars with top scores in crash tests and other safety evaluations. For the 2022 model year, a total of 101 models qualified for a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award, up from 90 models in 2021, and 64 in 2020. For the Top Safety Pick Plus category, 65 models made the cut in 10 categories, up from 49 models in 2021, and 23 in 2020. Of the 65 Top Safety Pick+ vehicles, 28 sedans and hatchbacks made the list
2022 marks the year with a record number of cars, trucks and SUVs receiving the automotive industry’s most rigorous safety award for their ability to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe. And it comes at a critical time in the wake of record traffic and pedestrian fatalities in 2020 and 2021.
See the full list below.
Notable Highlights: 2022 IIHS Top Safety Picks
Hyundai Motor Group, consisting of Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis, led all manufacturers with 21 total combined, including 11 “plus” award winners. The Volkswagen Group’s Volkswagen and Audi brands received 11 awards, and Volvo with 10.
Last year, the Ram 1500 crew cab was the sole pickup truck to get an IIHS designation. But as pickup trucks grow in popularity and sales, so does the number of those named Top Safety Picks in 2022. This year, the Ram once again makes the list, along with the Ford F-150 (extended cab and crew cab) and surprisingly, the all-new Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Electric vehicle shoppers have more IIHS safety picks to choose from in 2022 as well. All-electric models that earned a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus include the Audi E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, and Volkswagen ID.4.
Additionally, there were several models that made the cut with certain qualifiers. For example, the Genesis G70, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Hyundai Santa Fe made the list but only for models built after a particular month. Others, like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and GLE-Class, made the cut only with optional front crash protection.
HOW ARE IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKS DETERMINED?
Each year, the IIHS conducts tests to determine how vehicles fare in two aspects of safety: crashworthiness and crash avoidance/mitigation. It also evaluates other elements of vehicle safety, such as headlight ratings.
The IIHS awarded winners in 11 size categories, from small cars to large pickups.
To earn Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick awards, vehicles must earn “Good” ratings in all six standardized IIHS crashworthiness tests:
- Driver-side small overlap front
- Passenger-side small overlap front
- Moderate overlap front
- Roof strength
- Head restraints
Additionally, all award winners must offer front crash prevention that earns a “Superior” or “Advanced” rating in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.
What’s the difference between Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+?
Headlights, a previously overlooked yet very important safety feature, are the differentiator between earning a Top Safety Pick and a Top Safety Pick+ designation. For 2022, Top Safety Pick award winners must offer “Good” or “Acceptable” headlights as an option. Whereas Top Safety Pick+ award winners must have “Good” or “Acceptable” headlights as standard equipment.
The Safest Cars, SUVs, and Trucks for 2022: IIHS
Here’s a look at the safest new cars, SUVs, and trucks on the market, according to IIHS
2022 MODELS EARNING TOP SAFETY PICK
Audi: A4, A5 Sportback, Q8
BMW: 2 Series Gran Coupe, 3 Series, X5
Buick: Encore GX
Ford: Escape, Edge, Mustang Mach-E, F-150 (crew cab and extended cab)
Hyundai: Elantra, Santa Cruz, Sonata, Venue
Kia: Sorento, Soul*, Sportage*, Telluride
Lexus: RX, UX
Lincoln: Aviator, Corsair, Nautilus
Ram: 1500 (crew cab)*
Subaru: Crosstrek*, Impreza hatchback*
Toyota: Avalon, C-HR, Venza
*Award applies to models equipped with optional front crash prevention technology
2022 MODELS EARNING TOP SAFETY PICK+
Acura: MDX, RDX, TLX
Audi: A6, A6 Allroad, A7, E-Tron, E-Tron Sportback, Q5, Q5 Sportback
Ford: Bronco Sport, Explorer
Genesis: G70 (examples built after June 2021), G80, G90, GV70, GV80
Honda: Accord, Civic (hatchback and sedan), Insight, Odyssey
Hyundai: Nexo, Palisade, Santa Fe, Tucson
Kia: K5, Stinger
Lexus: ES 350, IS
Mazda: Mazda3 (hatchback and sedan), CX-30, CX-5, CX-9
Mercedes-Benz: E-Class*, GLE-Class*
Mitsubishi: Outlander (examples built after June 2021)
Nissan: Altima, Maxima, Murano, Rogue
Subaru: Ascent, Crosstrek Hybrid, Legacy, Outback
Tesla: Model 3, Model Y
Toyota: Camry, Highlander, Sienna
Volvo: C40 Recharge, S60, S60 Recharge, V60 Cross Country, XC40, XC40 Recharge Twin, XC60, XC60 Recharge, XC90, XC90 Recharge
For the list of Top Safety Picks sorted out by category/type/size, visit the IIHS website
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