The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its annual list of the best-rated vehicles for safety, and like last year, they’re again divided into two groups: Top Safety Picks and winners of the tougher Top Safety Pick+ award. This year, however, the IIHS has changed its minimum criteria for each award, making them both significantly tougher to earn than last year.
The IIHS uses five tests to judge vehicles: moderate overlap front and side crash tests, a roof strength test, head restraint test and the recently added small overlap front crash test. Last year, a basic TSP award could be earned by achieving a Good rating in the first four tests, regardless of the vehicle’s score in the new small overlap front crash test. For 2014, however, the IIHS is making the small overlap front crash test score count, requiring a Good or Acceptable score, along with a Good rating in the other four tests, to earn the award.
With the small overlap front crash test now incorporated into the basic TSP award, IIHS is changing the TSP+ award to recognize automakers that offer an extra level of protection with crash prevention technology. This year, any vehicle satisfying the criteria for the basic TSP award that also offers a forward collision warning system or automatic braking system will earn the TSP+ award.
As for the list of winners, Honda stands out as having the most TSP+ awards, a total of six spread among itself and Acura, as well as two more basic TSP awards. The IIHS also found it exemplary that smaller manufacturers like Volvo, Subaru and Mazda were able to achieve three TSP+ awards each. In total, 22 vehicles earned TSP+ awards, an increase over last year’s count of 13. What’s more shocking is that while 117 vehicles earn basic TSP awards last year, only 17 were able to meet the more stringent requirements this year.
The full list of IIHS award winners can be found below, along with a video by the IIHS explaining their testing procedures and this year’s new requirements.
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