New report: These are the 38 safest vehicles for 2017


Only 38 vehicles earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest safety award for 2017 due to stricter criteria.

IIHS reveals Top Safety Pick+ winners 

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This time around, in order to receive a Top Safety Pick Plus award, the IIHS said a vehicle must have good or acceptable headlight performance for nighttime drives. 

“IIHS launched headlight ratings in the spring after finding that government standards based on laboratory tests allow for huge variation in the amount of illumination headlights provide in on-road driving. Nighttime visibility is critical to highway safety because about half of traffic deaths occur either in the dark or at dawn or dusk.’

In fact, only seven models feature headlights that earned a “good” rating. 

  1. Chevrolet Volt
  2. Honda Ridgeline
  3. Hyundai Elantra
  4. Hyundai Santa Fe
  5. Subaru Legacy
  6. Toyota Prius v
  7.  Volvo XC60

‘The field of contenders is smaller this year because so few vehicles have headlights that do their job well, but it’s not as small as we expected when we decided to raise the bar for the awards,’ said Adrian Lund, IIHS president. ‘Manufacturers are focusing on improving this basic safety equipment, and we’re confident that the winners’ list will grow as the year progresses.’

Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus led the way with nine 2017 Top Safety Pick Plus awards, including for the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4.

Honda and its luxury brand Acura had five winners, including the Honda Accord.

In addition to a good or acceptable headlight rating, Top Safety Pick Plus winners must earn good ratings in five crash tests, as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention. 

Here are the 38 Top Safety Pick Plus winners: 

Small cars

  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Hyundai Elantra (sedan only; built after March 2016)
  • Mazda 3  (4-door sedan, 4-door hatchback)
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Prius (built after August 2016) 

Midsize cars

  • Honda Accord 4-door
  • Mazda 6
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Prius v
  • Volkswagen Jetta

Midsize luxury cars

  • Audi A4
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Volvo S60
  • Volvo V60

Large luxury cars

  • Genesis G80
  • Genesis G90
  • Lexus RC

Small SUVs

  • Mazda CX-3
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Forester (built after October 2016)
  • Toyota RAV4

Midsize SUVs

  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Santa Fe (built after March 2016)

Midsize luxury SUVs

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q5
  • Buick Envision
  • Lexus NX
  • Lexus RX
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
  • Volvo XC60


  • Chrysler Pacifica (built after August 2016)

Large pickup

  • Honda Ridgeline

A total of 44 cars, trucks and SUVs received the second highest designation, Top Safety Pick. To see a list of those vehicles, visit the IIHS’s website

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