Record Number of Vehicles Get Top Safety Pick Designation from IIHS
Updates Improve Safety Ratings on Popular Models
While many of us of the enthusiast persuasion pick our vehicles based on horsepower, torque, acceleration, or in the case of trucks, towing or payload capacity, the top two purchase considerations for most car buyers, besides price, are safety and fuel economy. Getting a five-star NHTSA rating, or Top Safety Pick (TSP) + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a major selling point for many models. Despite safety standards that are tougher than ever, a record number of vehicles received a TSP or TSP+ from the IIHS.
Some models that formerly performed poorly in the organization’s tests showed major improvement due to revisions in the vehicle’s front structure, and the addition of collision avoidance technologies. The Honda CR-V, the best-selling SUV in the U.S., went from getting a “marginal” rating for the 2012 model, to the 2015 model receiving a “good” TSP+ rating from the IIHS, the highest rating possible. Helping the CR-V make this significant improvement in crash performance is the availability of forward collision warning, and collision mitigation braking systems. The CR-V also received a redesigned front door frame structure for 2015. Other SUV models receiving the TSP+ designation include the Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, Toyota Highlander, Acura MDX, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Volvo XC60.