Subaru models earn top IIHS safety awards

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A total of 11 Toyota and Lexus models were included in the 2018 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award winners.

Leading the way this year for the most top safety pick plus awards are Hyundai and Subaru. In order to qualify, model-year 2018 vehicles now need to have good-rated headlights and get a good or acceptable rating in IIHS' newest evaluation, the passenger-side small overlap front crash test.

15 vehicles earned the group's highest award of top safety pick plus.

Hyundai - which includes some Kias - and Subaru were the big winners, earning the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards. 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. IIHS first began conducting driver-side small overlap crashes in 2012.

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"Drivers expect their passengers will be protected as well as they are".

IIHS President Adrian Lund explains the testing processes implemented for the "Top Pick Plus" ranking.

The 2018 list of the safest vehicles is out, and just 15 earned the highest rating, down from 69 past year.

"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. Mercedes Benz, Subaru, Toyota and Ford also had models listed as top safety picks. For small sized vehicles the Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Subaru Impreza and Subaru WRX came out on top. Check out the full list of models that qualify.

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IIHS is placing more emphasis on the impact of headlights on the safety rating of new vehicles.

Automakers have pledged to make autobrake standard on virtually all passenger vehicles by 2022, but for now the technology remains mostly optional, especially on nonluxury brands. Over the years, IIHS has added to and strengthened criteria for both awards, pushing automakers to speed up safety advances.

"The improvements in occupant protection have been wonderful over the past decades", says Lund.

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