DENVER — Thirty-nine vehicles are meeting tougher criteria to earn 2014 safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“We’ve made it more difficult for manufacturers this year,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund.
“Following a gradual phase-in, the small overlap crash is now part of our basic battery of tests and good or acceptable performance should be part of every vehicle’s safety credentials. We also felt it was time to offer extra recognition to manufacturers that are offering a proven crash avoidance technology.”
Lund is talking about on-board systems which both alert the driver of something getting close to your car and braking systems that begin to engage before you even know a crash is coming.
“We think being safe is critical,” said new car buyer Manfred Steuerwald. “It’s great car companies are putting new safety devices on cars, each can help save lives.”
With the changes of the criteria this year, the number of Top Safety Pick + and Top Safety Pick winners falls from a combined 130 at the time of the initial announcement of 2013 winners to 39 for 2014.
Vehicles that have fallen off the list have less than acceptable ratings for small overlap protection or they haven’t been tested yet. These are the new winners in four main crash types—moderate overlap front, side rollover and rear.
– Honda Civic 4-door
– Mazda 3 built after October 2013
– Toyota Prius built after November 2013
Midsize moderately priced cars
– Ford Fusion
– Honda Accord 2-door
– Honda Accord 4-door
– Mazda 6
– Subaru Legacy
– Subaru Outback
Midsize luxury/near-luxury cars
– Infiniti Q50
– Lincoln MKZ
– Volvo S60
Large luxury cars
– Acura RL
– Volvo S80
– Mazda CX-5 built after October 2013
– Mitsubishi Outlander
– Subaru Forester
– Toyota Highlander
Midsize luxury SUVs
– Acura MDX
– Mercedes-Benz M-Class built after August 2013
– Volvo XC60
– Honda Odyssey
Except for the Volvo S60, S80 and XC60 and the hybrid version of the Honda Civic 4-door, vehicles listed under Top Safety Pick+ qualify for that award only when equipped with optional front crash prevention. Front crash prevention isn’t available on nonhybrid versions of the Civic.