The results of crash testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are now in and the organization has awarded its primo Top Safety Pick+ ranking to 22 vehicles that provide the highest level of basic occupant protection and, for the 2014 evaluation regimen, also offer front-crash avoidance technology in the form of warning systems and automatic braking capability. An additional 17 vehicles were cited as 2014 Top Safety Pick winners. To earn a basic TSP rating, a vehicle doesn't need the crash avoidance technology but still must score well in the demanding small-offset crash test. Due to this new and more stringent evaluation criteria, the IIHS notes that only 39 vehicles in the class of 2014 qualified for one of its top two ratings compared with 130 that received those honors for 2013.
"We've made it more difficult for manufacturers this year," noted IIHS President Adrian Lund. "Following a gradual phase-in, the small overlap crash is now part of our basic battery of tests, and good or acceptable performance should be part of every vehicle's safety credentials. We also felt it was time to offer extra recognition to manufacturers that are offering a proven crash avoidance technology."
Heading the list of TSP+ winners on a manufacturer level was Honda/Acura (Acura MDX, Acura RLX, Honda Civic 4-door, Honda Accord 2-door, Honda Accord 4-door and Honda Odyssey). Other multiple TSP+ awards went to Mazda (Mazda3 built after October 2013, Mazda6, Mazda CX-5 built after October 2013); Subaru (Subaru Forester, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback); Volvo (Volvo S60, Volvo S80, Volvo XC60); Toyota (Toyota Highlander, Toyota Prius) and Ford/Lincoln (Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ). Rounding out the 2014 TSP+ list are the Mercedes-Benz M-Class built after August 2013 and the Mitsubishi Outlander. Except for the Volvos and the Civic Hybrid 4-door, all of the TSP+ winners only qualify for the "Plus" award when equipped with their optional front crash prevention systems.
Among the organization's 2014 Top Safety Pick winners, the Chevrolet Spark stood out as the only minicar to qualify for TSP status. Small cars on the IIHS honor roll included the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic 2-door, Hyundai Elantra, Scion tC, Subaru Impreza and Subaru XV Crosstrek while the Chrysler 200 4-door, Dodge Avenger, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry built after December 2013 and Volkswagen Passat were winners in the Moderately-priced car category. The Acura TL was the sole TSP winner in the Midsize luxury/near-luxury segment while the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and Volvo XC90 earn IIHS citations in their respective Small SUV and Midsize luxury categories.
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