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Hyundai Motor Group, Toyota and Mazda Dominate as IIHS Names 22 Top Safety Picks

by | February 27, 2024

Three Asian automakers stood out in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s annual list of the safest vehicles consumers can buy. Toyota, Mazda and the Hyundai Motor Group — including the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands — had nearly as many winners as the rest of the industry combined, 34 of the 71 models named a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+.

Rivian R1T IIHS crash test REL

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed its Top Safety Pick Plus and Top Safety Pick winners, including the Rivian R1T as a Top Safety Pick +.

The auto industry was able to overcome more stringent testing requirement to deliver solid results in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s annual crash safety tests.

A total of 71 different vehicles received either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ rating this year, even though the IIHS challenged manufacturers with tighter test standards.

“We raised the bar last year with tougher side crash tests and most automakers have responded,” said the trade group’s president, David Harkey. “This year we raised the bar again with an updated frontal crash test that’s focused on rear occupants”

How the ratings are calculated

IIHS 2024 Top Safety Pick Plus chart REL

To qualify for the awards, vehicles must score Acceptable or Good ratings in a series of tests, such as side and frontal impact, as well as the revised frontal offset test that simulates what happens in the typical single vehicle crash into an object like a telephone pole.

An automaker must earn Acceptable or Good headlights rating. And they also must equip the vehicle with some of the new advanced driver assistance systems. They must, for example, be able to detect and avoid a collision with a pedestrian, even at night.

More Safety News

The top-rated brands

2024 IIHS Top Safety Pick chart two REL

All told, 49 vehicles won a Top Safety Pick rating, another 22 earning a Top Safety Pick+.

  • The Hyundai Motor Group earned the highest number of awards: with six Top Safety Pick+ winners, and another 10 rated a Top Safety Pick, for 16 overall;
  • Toyota came in close behind with a total of 13 awards including one Top Safety Pick+ and another 12 Top Safety Pick winners;
  • Mazda earned five Top Safety Pick+ awards, the most of any individual brand, as well as one Top Safety Pick.

SUVs had the most winners, with five each in the small, midsize and midsize luxury categories. Sedans and pickups, on the whole, fared relatively poorly.

Saving lives

“For the past decade, virtually every vehicle tested has earned a good rating thanks to stronger vehicle structures, the introduction of front and side-curtain airbags and a series of improvements in seat belt technology,” the IIHS noted in a statement.

The trade group pointed to the moderate offset frontal crash test introduced in 1995. It claimed that a study of 14 years of data found that driversIIHS 2024 Top Safety Picks chart REL of vehicles rated good were 46% less likely to die in head-on crashes compared to those vehicles with a poor rating.

The newly updated offset test is designed to focus on survivability among rear seat passengers.

The latest test revision also emphasizes pedestrian detection technology. “ In 2019, when IIHS launched the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation, only 21% of the vehicles tested earned the highest rating of superior, while 44% of new models didn’t even offer the technology. By 2023, 59% of vehicles earned superior ratings in the daytime test, and 40% also earned superior ratings in the nighttime evaluation, which was introduced a year earlier,” the IIHS noted.


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