Most new cars on the market are on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick list, but only the best performers that specifically do well on the newly instituted small front overlap test are given the coveted Top Safety Pick + award. For the 2014 model year, there are some new additions to the list in the form of all-new or redesigned models.

The 2014 Acura MDX is a new addition in the midsize luxury SUV class, and the 2014 Toyota Highlander is the sole winner in the Midsize SUV class. Mazda CX-5 models build after October 2013 qualify for the TSP+ designation, as do Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUVs built after August 2013.

In addition to the CX-5, other winners in the small SUV class are the Mitsubishi Outlander and Subaru Forester, both offering automatic braking systems, which is an option on the CX-5 as well. Although only one Honda product was included among SUV models, Honda took home the most TSP+ safety awards overall with six, including in the minivan, large luxury car, midsize, and small car categories.

Cars are continually tested throughout the year at IIHS, and models that have been significantly revised from a structural or design standpoint can be retested to earn the certification.

Source: IIHS