22 Cars Earn Top Marks in More Stringent 2014 IIHS Tests
The Mazda3, Toyota Prius, and 20 other models scored Top Safety Pick+ status by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after the agency made its crash tests more difficult. For the 2014 model year, IIHS is only awarding its baseline Top Safety Pick award to cars that achieve good performance on moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraint tests, and for the first time, small overlap front crashes. The notoriously difficult small overlap test, which replicates what happens when 25 percent of the vehicle's front hits an object, was introduced in 2012. For models to earn the even more prestigious Top Safety Pick+ designation, vehicles now have to master all these tests as well as offer technologies that help drivers prevent crashes before they happen. Vehicles that earn top marks in crash tests and are equipped with forward collision warning systems automatically qualify for the + designation. Those that are equipped with other safety systems such as automatic braking earn brownie points so to say.Honda led the way with six winners, including the Civic Hybrid, Accord coupe, Accord sedan, Odyssey as well as the Acura RLX and MDX. Mazda and Volvo tied for second with three TSP+ recipients each: Mazda3, Mazda6, and CX-5 as well as the S60, XC60, and S80. Other winners include the Subaru Legacy, Outback, Forester; Toyota Prius, Highlander; Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Infiniti Q50, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Thanks to the criteria changes, fewer models are earning Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ status. One notable improver this round is the Toyota Camry, which previously earned poor ratings on the new small overlap test but raised its score, now qualifying it for Top Safety Pick status. Source: IIHS
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