IIHS Presents 90 Models With Top Safety Awards

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 25, 2021

2021 is shaping to be an excellent year for automotive safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced its list of 2021 vehicles that have earned one of its awards and there are a total of 90 award winners. Forty-one vehicles earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award, while 49 models earned the highest award of being named a Top Safety Pick+. This time last year, only 64 vehicles earned an award from the IIHS.

Not only is the total number of award winners impressive, but more body styles are winning awards, too. The IIHS points towards minivans as the perfect example of this. For the 2021 model year, the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna both earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. Last year, there were zero minivans to earn an award. It’s a similar situation with pickup trucks, as the 2021 Ram 1500 became the very first one to earn a Top Safety Pick award. A year ago, zero pickup trucks won an award.

Seeing a total of 90 vehicles is surprising because the IIHS has been pushing automakers to build safer vehicles. Starting in 2020, vehicles were required to come with headlights that earned either a “Good” or an “Acceptable” rating across the entire lineup to earn the highest Top Safety Pick+ award. At first, automakers had trouble meeting the new requirement, but they certainly caught on.

Out of all manufacturers, Hyundai Motor Group, which is comprised of Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia, had the most award-winning vehicles. The automaker had a total of 17 award winners – 12 Top Safety Picks and five Top Safety Pick+ vehicles. Volvo has the most Top Safety Pick+ awards with nine vehicles, while all of Mazda’s lineup, besides the sporty MX-5 Miata, earned an award.

Mitsubishi was the only automaker that has failed to earn an award from the IIHS. Despite having numerous brands under its umbrella, General Motors has done poorly in the IIHS’ testing, as it only has one Top Safety Pick winner and one Top Safety Pick+ vehicle. These two automakers are well behind the pack.

For consumers, this large increase in the number of vehicles that meet the requirements for an IIHS award means that vehicles are safer than ever before. Unlike before, consumers looking for a safe vehicle aren’t restricted to a few automakers or models. On the flip side, vehicle prices have gone up, as automakers pack vehicles with more safety features, better headlights, and stronger structures. Additionally, some vehicles require optional packages that are pricey to meet the IIHS’ requirements.

To be named a Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn a rating of “Good” in all six crash tests, a rating of “Advanced” or “Superior” for a vehicle’s front-crash prevention system (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations are conducted), and have available headlights that earn an “Acceptable” or a “Good” rating. A Top Safety Pick+ vehicle must have “Acceptable” or “Good” rated headlights as standard equipment.

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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