When you go car shopping, you have a lot to consider. You need something in your price range. It has to be the right size. You probably care about fuel efficiency, and you might want something that looks nice and has all the cool features you like. But most importantly, you want a vehicle that will keep you and your loved ones safe.

To help you determine which cars to trust, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducts crashworthiness tests each year. The best performers in each size class earn the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ designation.

Top Safety Pick+

To earn a spot in the Top Safety Pick+ category, a vehicle must receive good ratings in five tests: the driver-side small overlap front test, the moderate overlap front test, the side test, the roof strength test and the head restraint test. In the passenger-side small overlap front test, the ratings must be acceptable or good. The front crash prevention must be advanced or superior, and the headlights must be good.

The following vehicles earned the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ award:

  • 2018 Kia Forte (sedan) and Soul
  • 2018 Subaru Impreza, WRX, Legacy and Outback
  • 2018 Toyota Camry
  • 2018 BMW 5 series
  • 2018 Genesis G80 and G90
  • 2018 Lincoln Continental
  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class (four-door sedan) and GLC
  • 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport

However, it’s important to note that not all vehicles of a winning make and model will qualify. For example, the 2018 Kia Soul comes with an optional front crash prevention system and a choice of headlights. The Top Safety Pick+ award is only for vehicles with the front crash prevention system and with the right headlights. In some cases, only vehicles made after a stated date qualify.

If you’re buying a vehicle because it’s a Top Safety Pick+, make sure your getting all the necessary safety options.

Top Safety Pick

While only 15 vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick+ award for 2018, a significantly larger group of vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick. The main difference lies in the passenger side small-overlap test. Vehicles do not need a rating in this category to qualify for the Top Safety Pick selection. Additionally, the Top Safety Pick vehicles can have headlight ratings of either acceptable or good.

Other Ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is not the only organization to rate vehicles based on safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses a five-star safety rating system.

Safety is important. When you purchase a car, be sure to check the safety ratings and to ask about safety features. If an accident happens, you’ll be happy you picked a safe car. You’ll also be happy you got enough insurance coverage. Contact us for quote.