Hyundai, Kia, Genesis and Subaru clean up in IIHS 2018 safety ratings

Hyundai, Kia, Genesis and Subaru clean up in IIHS 2018 safety ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its list of the safest vehicles for 2018.

This year the criteria proved a bit more hard to meet. "Manufacturers have been taking this issue seriously since we first shed light on it, and we're confident that good small overlap protection will become the norm on the passenger side, just as it has on the driver side".

Subaru had four vehicles earn the IIHS "Top Pick Plus" safety designation.

Forty-seven vehicles made the institute's second tier Top Safety Pick for 2018 after it added a requirement for good or acceptable headlights to qualify - down from 50 a year ago. It was this test that caused the significant drop in the number of vehicles earning the top rating.

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IIHS assesses a vehicle's crashworthiness with six tests: moderate overlap front, driver-side small overlap front, (new) passenger-side small overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints and seats.

"Most drivers when they buy a auto they think the passenger is going to be protected as well as they are, our new test is to try to achieve that", said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

Rather than design elements, Lund said headlights should be treated as safety features to help avoid a crash at night. Mercedes Benz, Subaru, Toyota and Ford also had models listed as top safety picks. The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ. Automakers have committed to making this technology standard by 2022. It began measuring both how well low and high beams illuminated the road and the amount of glare they produce for oncoming vehicles as part of its ratings in 2016. In order to meet the top ranking, and in some instances, simply being a "Top Pick", the vehicle must be upgraded.

Most cars on the top pick lists only qualified when they came with optional equipment, such as automatic emergency braking. Seven models with standard autobrake - the Toyota Camry, Corolla, Prius, Prius Prime and Highlander and the Lexus IS and NX - also have standard acceptable or good headlights and qualify for TOP SAFETY PICKwithout any added options.

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