The first official passenger-side ratings were released in October, following research tests a year ago.
"Most drivers when they buy a auto they think the passenger is going to be protected as well as they are". Fifteen of those earning its highest award despite tougher criteria requiring better headlights and enhanced passenger side protection.
The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones released in March 2016. "They want to be known as leaders of safety". "We're pleased to see this changing".
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Subaru had the most Safety Pick+ vehicles. Hyundai, also the owner of the Kia and Genesis brands, produced six models earning the top award, while Subaru has four, the IIHS said in announcing its annual list.
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. Hyundai is the runner-up with nine.
The institute rates front crash prevention by conducting low- and moderate-speed track tests of vehicles with automatic braking systems. For small sized vehicles the Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Subaru Impreza and Subaru WRX came out on top. Kia and Subaru models were among the highest rated; no minivans, pickups or mini-cars made the cut.
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The vast majority of award winners only qualify when optionally equipped with front crash prevention and acceptable or good headlights aren't part of their base trims, the institute said. Automakers have committed to making this technology standard by 2022.
IIHS is placing more emphasis on the impact of headlights on the safety rating of new vehicles. In addition to the 15 "Top Pick Plus" designees, there were 47 "Top Pick" vehicles.
Forty-seven vehicles made the institute's second tier Top Safety Pick for 2018 after it added a requirement for good or acceptable headlights to qualify - down from 50 a year ago. The TOP SAFETY PICK+ accolade was introduced in the 2013 model year to recognize vehicles that offer a superior level of safety.
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