The number of vehicles receiving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's initial highest safety honor for 2019 doubled, even as the group raised standards.
IIHS said it now requires a "good" rating in a passenger-side small overlap front test to earn a 2019 Top Safety Pick Plus award. For 2018, an "acceptable" or "good" rating sufficed. An "acceptable" or "good" rating in the passenger-side test are also new criteria to earn a 2019 Top Safety Pick.
Thirty vehicles received the Top Safety Pick Plus award, up from 15 for 2018. Small cars fared well in the latest ratings, with nine earning the highest safety honor. Other top winners for 2019 were five midsize cars, two midsize luxury cars, one large car, four large luxury cars, two small SUVs, three midsize SUVs and four midsize luxury SUVs.
To earn a 2019 Top Safety Pick Plus award, vehicles must be rated "good" in IIHS' passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front crash, side crash, roof strength and head restraint tests. Vehicles also must earn an "advanced" or "superior" rating for front-crash prevention and a "good" headlight rating.
Seven Subaru vehicles are 2019 Top Safety Pick Plus winners: the WRX, Outback, Impreza sedan and wagon, Crosstrek, Legacy and Ascent. Hyundai earned four and Kia earned five Top Safety Pick Plus awards, while Genesis received three awards, including for the Genesis G70, an all-new model for 2019.
Mercedes-Benz and Toyota/Lexus each have three vehicles on the list of Top Safety Pick Plus winners, while Honda and its Acura brand were awarded two picks, and Mazda one.
The 57 vehicles that made the 2019 Top Safety Pick Plus and Top Safety Pick lists can be found here.