A whopping 64 vehicles qualify for the IIHS’ 2020 Top Safety Pick award
|driving.ca 14 Feb 2020 at 06:25|
Safety has become a number-one priority in the design of many modern vehicles, as regulations to drive down traffic fatalities keep cropping up and standards get stricter and stricter.
But if you want to quantify exactly how safe we’re talking, then take a look at the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the winners of its top safety awards for 2020.
A full 64 vehicles qualify for the 2020 Top Safety Pick award this year, having earned “Good” ratings in each of the Institute’s six crashworthiness evaluations: the moderate overlap front crash test; the side crash test; in head restraints and seats; in a roof crush test; and in the newer small-overlap front passenger-side and small-overlap front driver-side tests.
The IIHS also tests headlights; front crash prevention for vehicle-to-vehicle, and, new for 2019, front crash prevention for vehicle-to-pedestrian.
As pedestrian accidents continue to rise, it’s increasingly important to add more protection via electronic safety features, the insurance-association-based group suggests. That’s why it’s happy to report automatic emergency braking is now basically a voluntary commitment nearly all automakers have made to increase safety.
To qualify for the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Plus award, a vehicle must have “Good” or “Acceptable” headlights on top of the above “Good” crash ratings, plus “Advanced” or “Superior” ratings in those aforementioned front crash prevention fields. Of the 64 vehicles picked, just 23 qualify for Top Safety Pick Plus.
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Standout automakers on this year’s winners list include Mazda and Hyundai. The Mazda 3 sedan, Mazda 3 hatchback, Mazda 6, CX-3 and CX-5 all earned Top Safety Pick Plus awards, while the CX-9 won a Top Safety Pick.
The title for most winners overall went to Hyundai (including its sibling Genesis and Kia brands) with a total 14 Top Safety Pick awards, and three Top Safety Pick Plus awards.
Among other pluses were the Genesis G70, Honda Insight, Hyundai Nexo, Lexus NX, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid and Tesla Model 3, which aren’t sold with anything other than “Good”-rated headlights.
This year, no minivans or pickup trucks were chosen for either award, though that may be in part because some models were not nominated by their makers. No vehicles from Fiat, Chrysler or Mitsubishi made the list at all, and General Motors and Nissan only earned one Top Safety Pick and one Top Safety Pick Plus award each. Ford, Lincoln, Volvo and BMW did not earn any Top Safety Pick Plus awards.