IIHS releases its top vehicle safety picks amid tightened criteria

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
IIHS releases annual list of Top Safety Pick award winners
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with its annual list of Top Safety Pick award winners

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you're in the market for a new car, safety might top your list of important criteria and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its annual list of Top Safety Pick award winners.

The IIHS tightened the award criteria once again, making it more challenging for new vehicles to even qualify but still 22 vehicles did earn Top Safety Pick Plus titles and 49 made the category, Top Safety Pick.

"When you purchase a Top Safety Pick vehicle, you can be assured you're getting a vehicle that offers the best when it comes to protecting occupants if you are in a crash," said David Harkey of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The awards are also designed to identify vehicles that offer the best in technology to prevent crashes in the first place. And this year the IIHS raised the bar with an updated frontal crash test focused on rear occupant protection.

"We also changed the requirements for nighttime pedestrian front crash prevention systems," said Harkey.

The automaker with the most 2024 awards overall is Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia brands.

Toyota, which includes the Toyota and Lexus brands, has the next highest total and Mazda earned the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards.

"The great news for consumers is that there are award winners in almost every vehicle class," said Harkey.

But small SUVs, midsize SUVs and midsize luxury SUVs are tied for the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards with five each.

Midsize SUV Winners

  • 2024 Ford Explorer
  • Kia Telluride
  • Mazda CX-90
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Subaru Ascent

Midsize Luxury SUV Winners

  • Acura MDX
  • BMW X3
  • Genesis GV80
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
  • Tesla Model Y

And one reminder from the IIHS - while having a vehicle with good crash protection technology is important, it is our behavior on the road that are our biggest challenge when it comes to safety. So, stay off your phone, don't speed and buckle up.

"The seatbelt is still the most important safety device you have in the vehicle," said Harkey.