Toyota Highlander Named Top Safety Pick Plus by IIHS
Structural Improvements Over 2015 Preserve Vehicle’s Safety Reputation
After carrying out some structural changes for the 2016 model year, the Toyota Highlander once again earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in spite of the rating’s tougher standards this year.
To be named a Top Safety Pick+ in 2015, a vehicle needed to earn “Good” ratings on all of the agency’s crash tests except the small overlap front test, where the lower, “Acceptable” rating was sufficient. However, the IIHS tightened its criteria for 2016, requiring the highest rating on all of the organization’s tests.
The 2015 Highlander cinched a TSP+ last year, but its Acceptable rating on the small overlap test would have omitted it from the ranks this year. This wouldn’t do, so Toyota made some unspecified structural improvements.
According to the IIHS, the dummy’s movement was better controlled in the 2016 Highlander, with the front airbag remaining in front of the dummy until after the crash rebound. In the 2015 Highlander, the dummy’s head slid off the airbag’s left side, a problem that didn’t occur in the 2016 Highlander. We’d bet some additional or improved bracing on the steering structure is to credit for the airbag’s better positioning on the 2016, as the SUV’s structural performance didn’t improve between 2015 and 2016.
With Good ratings on all of the agency’s tests and an Advanced rating for the Highlander’s optional front crash prevention equipment, the Highlander once again earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, something many families are sure to appreciate.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety