Just 15 vehicles met tougher criteria for 2018 IIHS safety picks

Casey Dawson
December 8, 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is releasing its picks for the safest cars of 2018.

The new Camry outdid them all by earning the Top Safety Pick+ award, the IIHS's highest distinction and one much harder to earn in 2018.

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 their passenger is going to be protected as well as they are, and so our new test is to try to achieve that", Insurance Institute for Highway Safety President Adrian Lund said. The 2018 Subaru Impreza, Legacy, Outback and WRX models earned the institute's highest Top Safety Pick+ award when those models are equipped with Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology and LED steering responsive headlights.

Preventing a crash with auto braking is also now part of the IIHS's safety tests.

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Requirements for the awards became stricter this year, now demanding good-rated headlights and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in front-end crashes. This new test sends a vehicle into a barrier at 40 miles per hour with just 25 percent of the vehicle's front end overlapping the barrier on the passenger side.

"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", IIHS President Adrian Lund said, according to Consumer Reports.

Here's a closer look at the 15 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winners for 2018. Mercedes Benz, Subaru, Toyota and Ford also had models listed as top safety picks. Check out the full list of models that qualify.

Lund credits the increase to an improved economy that has more people on the roads and on distracted driving. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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