The models that earn the Top Safety Pick+ award have optional systems that can prevent or mitigate front-to-rear crashes through a warning and can autonomously brake if a driver doesn’t slow or stop in time to avoid a rear-end crash.
The Pick+ models
Small cars: Honda Civic Hybrid, Mazda3 (built after October 2013), and Toyota Prius (built after November 2013)
Midsized cars: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord (2- and 4-door), Mazda6, Subaru Legacy, and Subaru Outback
Midsized luxury cars: Infiniti Q50, Lincoln MKZ, and Volvo S60
Large luxury cars: Acura RLX and Volvo S80
Small SUVs: Mazda CX-5 (built after October 2013), Mitsubishi Outlander, and Subaru Forester
Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander
Luxury SUVs: Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class (built after August 2013), and Volvo XC60
Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Models that earn the Top Safety Pick include the Acura TL, Chevrolet Spark, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic coupe, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Optima, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Altima, Scion tC, Subaru Impreza, Subaru XV Crosstrek, Toyota Camry (built after November 2013), Volkswagen Passat, and Volvo XC90.
Honda/Acura has the most winners of any automaker, with six models earning the Top Safety Pick+ award and two named Top Safety Picks.
Underscoring the need for increased occupant protection, 33,561 people died in vehicle fatalities in 2012, representing a 3 percent increase from the year before. Front, side, and rollover crashes make up a large part of the deaths. While rear-end crashes typically aren’t fatal, they result in a large portion of injuries and insurance claims.
The Insurance Institute’s crash test evaluations are an important tool to help consumers choose a safe vehicle that can help reduce the risk of death from vehicle crashes. For a full list of the 2014 winners and to see a list of past winners dating back to 2006, the first year of the Top Safety Pick Awards, see the IIHS website.
To find out more on how the IIHS and the government conduct crash tests, see Crash test 101. Also check out our guide to vehicle safety.