2018 Vehicle Top Safety Pick

Only 15 vehicles were awarded the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ title by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after the requirements to be considered a “plus” vehicle were raised. This year, good-rated headlights and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in small overlap front crashes were taken into consideration when rating vehicles.


The 15 vehicles that earned 2018 Top Safety Pick+ recognition were:


Small Cars


  • Kia Forte
  • Kia Soul
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Subaru WRX


Midsize Cars


  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry


Large Luxury Cars


  • BMW 5 Series
  • Genesis G80
  • Genesis G90
  • Lincoln Continental
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class


Midsize SUVs


  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport


Midsize Luxury SUV


  • Mercedes-Benz GLC


This is the first time the IIHS has included the passenger-side crash test in its award system. Small overlap crashes are when the crash involves just the front corner of the vehicle, bypassing the main structural components. Improving driver-side protection quickly became the top priority since every vehicle on the road has a driver and not necessarily a passenger. The IIHS felt passenger-side protection needed to be considered more urgent and thus added it to their safety requirements. Manufactures are now taking passenger small overlap safety very seriously and working to achieve symmetric protection for both sides.


The IIHS only recently started releasing headlight ratings as well. Their tests measure how well low beams and high beams illuminate the road ahead on the one hand, and the amount of glare they produce for drivers of oncoming vehicles on the other.


Across manufactures, the vast majority of winners qualify only when optionally equipped with these features as the base trim does not come with them standard.


The IIHS has been testing and awarding vehicles since 2006 to help consumers make an informed decision when it comes to the safety of their next car. In 2013, IIHS added the Top Safety Pick+ category to recognize vehicles offering a premium level of safety. Over time, the criteria to achieve both awards continues to advance in an effort to push automakers to continue to develop the latest safety measures.


To see a full list of the Top Safety Pick winners and the criteria for earning that recognition, visit


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