2019 Toyota Prius, Prius Prime earn Top Safety Pick award

April 2, 2019

The 2019 Toyota Prius earned a Top Safety Pick award, the IIHS said last week.

The hybrids almost aced the insurance industry-funded testing agency's barrage of crash tests. The Prius scored "Good" in every instrumented crash test except for an "Acceptable" rating in the challenging passenger-side small-overlap test that simulates impact with an oncoming car or a stationary object such as a utility pole.

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The Prius earned the top "Superior" award for its collision-avoidance tech and versions of the hybrid—even those with extra-cost headlights on higher trim levels—earned an "Acceptable" award for the effectiveness of their forward lighting.

The Prius' "Acceptable" rating for its headlights stands in contrast to many other new cars that come standard with subpar lighting. On those cars, the highest-rated headlights are locked away as costly options on higher trim levels. The Prius XLE with the $800 Advanced Technology Package includes curve-adaptive automatic-leveling headlights that the IIHS said are just as effective as the standard LEDs on the base Prius. 

The Prius' plug-in hybrid cousin, the Prius Prime, also earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS and earned identical crash test ratings. However, the "Acceptable" rated headlights are standard on every Prius Prime trim. The plug-in hybrid starts at $28,280.

The IIHS requires vehicles to achieve a "Good" rating in all crash tests aside from the passenger-side small overlap front test. Vehicles can earn an "Acceptable" rating and still walk away with a Top Safety Pick. The Prius earned an "Acceptable" rating in this category. The other markers for a Top Safety Pick are a "Superior" rating for crash-avoidance technology (active safety features) and "Good" or "Acceptable" headlights.

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