15 vehicles earn highest safety rating from IIHS

2018 Subaru Outback Crash Test IIHS

These 15 vehicles are IIHS' top safety picks for 2018

Two vehicle manufacturers-Hyundai and Subaru-garnered the lion's share of the highest-level safety awards for 2018 presented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

This year the criteria proved a bit more hard to meet.

Crash tests have always been a key element in how the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety rates vehicles. The 2018 Subaru Impreza, Legacy, Outback and WRX models earned the institute's highest Top Safety Pick+ award when those models are equipped with Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology and LED steering responsive headlights.

"We're pleased to have so many vehicles recognized by IIHS, especially with the completely redesigned 2018 Camry receiving its highest safety award". The vehicles must also meet the previous requirements of scoring good in other crash tests and earning an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", says IIHS President Adrian Lund.

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"That company had six Top Safety Pick+ winners there", Lund said. The BRZ is the only Subaru model that doesn't qualify.

The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones being released in March 2016. That list could grow, since IIHS has not yet reviewed all models and variations and plans to review more throughout 2018.

While automakers are claiming that kind of technology will be standard equipment in the near future, it won't be in all cases so if you are driving one of the "Top Pick Plus" vehicles, you may be simply driving its lower-priced, and lower rated, sibling instead.

"Cars are safer now than they ever have been", Lund believes with even more improvements in crash test performance and headlights, vehicles will be even safer down the road. "All automakers now recognize the important role of safety in consumer choice, and they are increasingly receptive to working with our engineers to understand the next steps in keeping people from harm in motor vehicle crashes and to make real changes in their vehicle designs".

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