Hyundai, Mazda Excel In 2020 IIHS Top Safety Picks

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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 13, 2020

Safety plays a large role for consumers when the time comes to purchase a new vehicle. A good safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) can sway buyers to go with one vehicle over another. While a lot of automakers have vehicles that earn one of the IIHS’ two awards – Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ – two automakers stood out in the institute’s testing by having the most vehicles to earn one of its awards. Those two brands are Mazda and Hyundai.

Among current automakers, Mazda has the most vehicles that have earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ award with five cars. Those include the Mazda CX-5, CX-3, Mazda3 hatchback, Mazda3 sedan, and Mazda6. Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia, has the most overall winners. Fourteen of the automaker’s cars have earned a Top Safety Pick awards with another three earning the Top Safety Pick+ designation.

Including Mazda and Hyundai Motor Group, 64 total vehicles met the necessary requirements to be named either a Top Safety Pick or a Top Safety Pick+. Of those 64, only 23 qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award. Only six vehicles, though, meet the necessary requirements by providing nothing but good-rated headlights. Those cars include the Genesis G70, Hyundai Nexo, Honda Insight, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Lexus NX, and Tesla Model 3.

Hyundai NEXO

While automakers, in general, are taking the necessary steps to meet the IIHS’ strict requirements, some brands have fallen behind. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mitsubishi didn’t have a single vehicle that earned one of the institute’s awards. Ford, Volvo, Lincoln, and BMW didn’t have any cars that met the necessary requirements to be named a Top Safety Pick+. Nissan and General Motors only had one vehicle that earned a Top Safety Pick and one car that earned a Top Safety Pick+ award, respectively.

Over previous years, the IIHS has made changes to its requirements as to what can be named a Top Safety Pick+ or a Top Safety Pick. The highest designation requires vehicles to get a rating of Good in all of its crash tests, have a rating of Advanced or Superior in its front crash prevention system (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests), and headlights that earn either an Acceptable or Good rating. The changes were made to force automakers to make improvements in key areas. More recently, the IIHS has tried to make automakers improve the headlights on their vehicles.

The changes have made things much more competitive. In 2020, a total of 64 vehicles earned one of the IIHS’ awards. Last year, over 100 vehicles met the requirements to earn either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award.

Explore IIHS Safety Picks »

, 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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