Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS tests the automobiles being introduced for safety. Manufacturers find excelling in all categories is challenging. Therefore, it is a huge honor to make this annual list. To qualify for the Top Safety Pick Award, the automobiles must rate superior or advanced for front crash prevention systems. Also, an automobile must acquire good ratings in 5 crashworthiness tests. They are:

  • Small overlap front
  • Moderate overlap front
  • Side
  • Roof
  • Roof and head strength

In 2016, IIHS changed their guides making them stricter and focused a lot of attention on the headlights of automobiles. This may seem surprising when the automobile is such a high-tech machine. But the addition of the requirement of a “good” or “acceptable” rating for headlight performance made a huge difference in the number of automobiles that made the grade for 2017. This past year, 79 models made the Top Picks List. The 2017 Top Picks only list 38 automobiles rated good enough to hit the higher marks. The tougher standards caused the number of 2017 picks to drop substantially.

Our car accident attorneys will give you a rundown of the safest cars in each category. Of course, you may do your own research and find several other automobiles that are high ranking and safe. We are only bringing you the best of each category based on these industry standards.

Small cars

  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Hyundai Elantra (this is for the sedan version. Specifically, those built after March 2016)
  • Mazda 3
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Prius (specifically, models built after August 2016)

Mid-size cars

  • Luxury midsize cars
    • Audi A4
    • Lexus ES 350
    • Volvo S60
    • Volvo 60
  • Honda Accord (4-door model)
  • Mazda 6
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Prius v
  • Volkswagen Jetta

Large luxury cars

  • Genesis G80
  • Genesis G90
  • Lexus RC

Small SUV’s

  • Mazda CX-3
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Forester (specifically models built after October 2016)
  • Toyota RAV4

Mid-Size SUV’s

  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Santa Fe (specifically, models built after March 2016)

Mid-Size Luxury SUVs

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q5
  • Buick Envision Lexus NX
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE- class
  • Volvo XC60


  • Chrysler Pacifica (specifically models built after August 2016)

Large Pickup

  • Honda Ridgeline

Of course, the makers of these automobiles are thrilled to receive such high industry marks. Earning these high marks are not accidental. Safety is their top priority, and it is incorporated into their design. However, it should be noted that style has not been forgotten. Automobile owners want safety built into their stylish, chic, and innovative vehicles. Today’s automobile owner refuses to trade one attribute for another. Consumers are interested in cars that have advanced technology and features. Yet, they will not risk their safety for a car that is too flashy. They want it all. The 2017 top picks line up proves that the consumer is getting just that.

It is shocking that only one American made car made the Top Picks List. But watch for a big comeback in 2018 as American cars push to regain their position.

For more information, contact a car accident attorney today.