IIHS Names Safest Cars, SUVs, and Trucks for 2022

A bumper crop of vehicles got the highest Top Safety Pick+ award, but the organization’s rating criteria are becoming more stringent next year

2022 Genesis G70 at the IIHS vehicle research center
The 2022 Genesis G70 is a 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
Photo: IIHS

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its annual list of cars with top scores in crash tests and other safety evaluations, and there are plenty of new vehicles for consumers to choose from.

For the 2022 model year, a total of 101 models qualify for a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award, up from 90 models in 2021. Many of the newly qualified models were recently redesigned, and some—such as the Kia Carnival minivan and Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck—are entirely new. Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis, which share a corporate parent, lead the way with 21 total awards combined. The Volkswagen Group’s Volkswagen and Audi brands get 11 awards, and Volvo gets 10.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in the original IIHS side crash test
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge in the original IIHS side crash test.

Photo: IIHS Photo: IIHS

More on Car Safety

Top Safety Pick+ vehicles are listed below. The full list of awarded vehicles is on the IIHS website. Consumer Reports also indicates whether a vehicle has been awarded a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ on CR.org.

Qualifying for a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award isn’t just about crash tests. In addition to crashworthiness, a vehicle must offer front crash prevention systems that score well in the agency’s tests of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention. To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle’s headlights must also be rated Good or Acceptable across all trim levels and packages. 

“New cars should offer strong protection in a crash, but in 2022, that’s the bare minimum,” says William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports. “With more than 35,000 people killed and millions injured on our roads each year, it’s vital for cars to also come standard with safety technology that’s effective at preventing a crash in the first place.”

IIHS roof strength evaluation of the Genesis GV70
IIHS roof strength evaluation of the Genesis GV70.

Photo: IIHS Photo: IIHS

Qualifications Increase to be a Top Safety Pick

Starting next year, it’ll get even tougher to qualify for an award because vehicles will have to score well in two new tests that reflect the latest real-world dangers to motorists and other road users. It’s by design that the tests get tougher and tougher, according to IIHS President David Harkey.

“A key reason vehicles have continued to get safer over the more than 25 years since the [IIHS] began our ratings program is that we have never shied away from raising the bar,” Harkey said in a written statement. “The high number of Top Safety Pick+ winners shows that it’s time to push for additional changes.”

Wallace agrees. “By making standards more demanding over time, IIHS and Consumer Reports push automakers to continually improve vehicle safety, and we give well-deserved accolades to those that step up,” he says. “It’s a tried-and-true way to move the marketplace.”

For 2023, vehicles will need to earn a top Good score in a tougher side-impact test to be a Top Safety Pick+, and at least an Acceptable score to be a Top Safety Pick. In the IIHS’ first round of testing, only one vehicle out of 20 small SUVs earned this score. The new test is designed to replicate a higher-speed impact with a larger vehicle, such as a modern SUV or pickup, both of which are more common on American roads. It uses a crash sled that weighs 880 pounds more than the current one, and strikes at 37 mph, a notable increase from 31 mph.

The other test evaluates the nighttime performance of automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems with pedestrian detection. While the vast majority of new vehicles have AEB systems that are designed to automatically brake for pedestrians, tests—including by the IIHS—show that they can have trouble detecting moving pedestrians at night, when 73 percent of crashes involving pedestrians take place. For 2023, vehicles will need to earn an Advanced or Superior rating to qualify as a Top Safety Pick+.

“We’ve seen many more cars in recent years come standard with city-speed AEB and pedestrian detection systems, and that’s great news for safety,” Wallace says. “Now we’ll have stronger, independent testing to make sure these systems are effective in more challenging scenarios—and that they continue to improve over time.”

2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ List

Size ClassModels
Small CarsHonda Civic hatchback, sedan
Honda Insight
Mazda 3 hatchback, sedan
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
Midsized CarsHonda Accord 
Kia K5 
Nissan Altima 
Nissan Maxima 
Subaru Legacy 
Subaru Outback 
Toyota Camry 
Midsized Luxury CarsAcura TLX 
Lexus ES 350 
Lexus IS 
Tesla Model 3 
Volvo S60 
Volvo S60 Recharge 
Volvo V60 Cross Country
Large CarsKia Stinger
Large Luxury CarsAudi A6 
Audi A6 Allroad 
Audi A7 
Genesis G70 built after June 2021 
Genesis G80 
Genesis G90 
Mercedes-Benz E-Class with optional front crash prevention
Small SUVsChevrolet Trailblazer 
Ford Bronco Sport 
Hyundai Tucson 
Mazda CX-5 
Mazda CX-30 
Mitsubishi Outlander built after June 2021 
Nissan Rogue 
Volvo C40 Recharge 
Volvo XC40 
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Midsized SUVsFord Explorer 
Hyundai Palisade 
Hyundai Santa Fe built after July 2021 
Mazda CX-9 
Nissan Murano 
Subaru Ascent 
Toyota Highlander 
Volkswagen ID.4
Midsized luxury SUVsAcura MDX
Acura RDX 
Audi Q5 
Audi Q5 Sportback 
Cadillac XT6 
Genesis GV70 
Genesis GV80 
Hyundai Nexo 
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class with optional front crash prevention 
Tesla Model Y 
Volvo XC60 
Volvo XC60 Recharge 
Volvo XC90 
Volvo XC90 Recharge 
Large SUVsAudi E-Tron
Audi E-Tron Sportback
MinivansChrysler Pacifica
Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna
Ford Mustang Mach-E following the IIHS moderate overlap crash test
Ford Mustang Mach-E after the moderate overlap crash test.

Photo: IIHS Photo: IIHS

Head shot photo of CRO Cars CIA editor Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Despite my love for quirky, old European sedans like the Renault Medallion, it's my passion to help others find a safe, reliable car that still puts a smile on their face—even if they're stuck in traffic. When I'm not behind the wheel or the keyboard, you can find me exploring a new city on foot or planning my next trip.