The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its list of the safest vehicles for 2018. It wasn't surprising that automakers acted more quickly to improve protection on the driver side than on the passenger side, and improving driver-side protection was arguably more urgent, since every vehicle on the road has a driver, while not every one has a passenger.
Crash tests have always been a key element in how the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety rates vehicles. The Crosstrek and Forester earn Top Safety Pick, also with option front-crash prevention and specific headlights.
"We're pleased to have so many vehicles recognized by IIHS, especially with the completely redesigned 2018 Camry receiving its highest safety award". All but one of the seven vehicles in Subaru's 2018 lineup earn one of the awards. "We've been doing small overlap frontal crash tests on the driver's side since 2012 and we've seen a lot of improvement on that side but we weren't seeing that kind of for passengers".
"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", says IIHS President Adrian Lund.
"We rate headlamps because when we look at how they light up the road many of them aren't doing a very good job", said Lund.
Also relatively new are the headlight ratings, which were first instituted in March 2016, and the initial results were poor.
The models that earned the top ranking for 2018 so far are the BMW 5 Series, Kia Forte sedan, Genesis G80, Genesis G90, Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, Lincoln Continental, Kia Soul, Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Subaru WRX, and Toyota Camry, according to Consumer Reports. The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ. The highly-rated headlights, for example, do not come standard on base models and many vehicles lack crash avoidance technology. Automakers have pledged to make it a standard feature by 2022. The TOP SAFETY PICK+ accolade was introduced in the 2013 model year to recognize vehicles that offer a superior level of safety.