The IIHS has revealed its list of what it considers to be the safest new cars available—those that qualify for its coveted Top Safety Pick+ award.
For 2017, making the cut has become even more difficult since cars now need to meet the insurance-funded independent agency's headlight effectiveness test in addition to delivering strong crash test performance and offering a highly-rated automatic emergency braking system.
DON'T MISS: How to be sure your new car really is a Top Safety Pick+
Now, cars need to earn at least the agency's "good" or "acceptable" ratings for their headlights and either "advanced" or "superior" for their available automatic emergency braking, plus "good" ratings in the following crash tests:
If a vehicle receives all those marks, it's considered a Top Safety Pick+. It can be awarded the standard Top Safety Pick title if its headlights don't pass muster or if it doesn't offer a strong-performing automatic emergency braking. One caveat to this award is that, to be considered a Top Safety Pick+, the individual model must both be equipped with often optional automatic emergency braking and with the highest-performing headlights available.
For instance, the Honda Accord is considered a Top Safety Pick+ only if it is equipped with the automaker's optional Honda Sensing safety suite (which includes automatic emergency braking) and if it has the standard halogen headlamps that earn an "acceptable" score on the IIHS' test. An Accord with either the LED lights or not optioned up with Honda Sensing is not considered a Top Safety Pick+.
The lesson here? Just because a car appears on the list below doesn't automatically mean it comes standard with all of the available safety features needed to earn the top award.
Look for this list to continue to grow as the IIHS tests more 2017 models and keep in mind that the IIHS doesn't test every car on the market.
2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award Winners
ALSO SEE: Bad app-titude: The problem with infotainment is our expectation
And here's a look at models that earned the standard Top Safety Pick award, the standard is lower for the cars' headlamps and their collision avoidance tech—but the IIHS points out that their basic safety structures are still top notch. All told, any car to be awarded either the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award is among the safest on the market. Here at The Car Connection, we factor both awards into our ratings system. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick Award Winners
(c) 2017, High Gear Media.