Back in December, we told you about the winners (Honda) and losers (Toyota) in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's tougher frontal-crash tests. We also told you about the new IIHS designation, "Top Safety Pick+", which recognizes vehicles that perform especially well in crash tests.
Now, the IIHS has revealed the names of its Top Safety Pick+ vehicles for 2013. (By sheer coincidence, there are 13 of them.) The news is particularly good for Chrysler, Honda, and Subaru, each of which had at least two vehicles in the group.
The IIHS uses five tests to evaluate vehicles: two related to frontal crashes, one for side impact, one for rollovers, and one evaluation of how well seat and head restraints protect occupants from neck injuries in rear impacts. The organization scores a vehicle's performance on each test as "good", "acceptable", "marginal", or "poor".
To earn the title of IIHS Top Safety Pick, cars have to score a "good" on the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact test, rollover test, and rear-impact test. (Poor performance on the fifth test -- the small overlap frontal test -- has no bearing on Top Safety Pick status for now, largely because the test was introduced in 2012, giving automakers little time to prepare for it.)
To earn the title of IIHS Top Safety Pick+, vehicles have to score a "good" on four of the five tests and nothing less than "acceptable" on the fifth.
The 13 vehicles that earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ include:
Of course, the IIHS tests vehicles all year round, and the organization will likely reveal more Top Safety Pick+ winners in the coming months. We expect to see a few SUVs added to the list when the IIHS announces results for small SUVs and crossovers this spring.
If you're in the market for a new car and safety ranks among your top concerns, be sure to check out the complete list of 2013 high-scorers on the IIHS website. You'll find not only the 13 Top Safety Pick+ winners, but also 117 vehicles that earned the very respectable Top Safety Pick.