Cars made by Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura and Mazda top the list of safest vehicles on the road, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The annual list of cars with top scores in crash tests and other safety evaluations is growing, with further additions since the February 2023 release, per Consumer Reports. Still, the list is shorter than in previous years because the tests are getting tougher.
Fifty-one cars qualify for the highest rating, a Top Safety Pick+ award, for the 2023 model year. Another 25 cars qualify for the Top Safety Pick award this year. That’s down from 101 vehicles last year and 90 in 2021.
The main reasons for the drop are the addition of a tougher side-impact crash test, a more comprehensive evaluation of automatic emergency braking and new headlight requirements, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a safety-focused organization funded by the auto insurance industry.
“While different vehicles missed out for different reasons, the new headlight requirement is an issue for quite a few models,” said Joe Young, an insurance institute spokesman, per Consumer Reports.
More models will likely earn top safety status as the institute continues to raise the bar for the award, said Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports’ auto test center. “Car manufacturers respond to tougher tests by designing new vehicles that can pass those tests,” she said.
To earn the highest ranking of Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must receive an acceptable or good score on a new side-crash test designed to replicate a higher-speed impact with a larger vehicle, such as an SUV or pickup. In addition, the vehicles must have automatic emergency braking systems that could prevent a collision with a pedestrian at nighttime and headlights that illuminate the road ahead on curves and straightaways, regardless of vehicle trim levels.
Here’s the list of vehicles receiving the Top Safety Pick+ award:
Toyota Prius Prime.
Hyundai Ioniq 6.
Toyota Camry (built after January 2023).
Midsized luxury cars
Mercedes-Benz C Class (with optional front crash prevention).
Large luxury car
Subaru Solterra (built after October 2022).
Small luxury SUVs
Genesis GV70, GV70 Electrified.
Lexus NX and NX Plug-in Hybrid.
Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
Mazda CX-90, CX-90 PHEV.
Midsized luxury SUVs
Audi Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback.
Telsa Model Y.
Volvo XC90 and XC90 Recharge.
Audi Q8, Q8 E-Tron and Q8 Sportback.
Toyota Tundra crew cab and extended cab.