To snag that Top Safety Pick Plus award, the Civic had to ace all six of the notoriously gnarly IIHS crash safety tests: small overlap for passenger and driver, moderate overlap for passenger and driver, roof strength and head restraint. But even that's not enough. Vehicles must also be equipped with crash avoidance systems rated as superior or advanced in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.
Finally, the models must be equipped as standard across all trims with headlights that rate as good or acceptable, and this last one trips up a fair number of manufacturers, leading them to get the lesser Top Safety Pick award. No Plus for you. The Civic has the higher Good rating on its standard headlights and Superior ratings for its crash avoidance systems, so it handily exceeds the stringent minimum requirements for the Plus award.