57 cars pick up IIHS accolades in 2019, despite stricter requirements

The passenger-side small overlap test takes center stage for 2019.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
YouTube screencap

If the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety never made it any harder to earn its Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards, the list of winners would grow until it encompassed the whole industry. So, for 2019, the IIHS became a little stricter -- but nearly five dozen vehicles still picked up awards.

The IIHS announced on Wednesday that 57 models qualified for its stricter 2019 Top Safety Pick requirements. The belt-tightening comes by way of the IIHS' passenger-side small overlap crash test. Now, to get Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must receive a Good rating in that test, while Top Safety Pick will be offered to vehicles with either Good or Acceptable ratings in this new test, which was created to ensure automakers weren't just reinforcing a single side of the vehicle.

Of course, a number of prior criteria still apply. A vehicle must also pass the remainder of the IIHS' crash tests, in addition to evaluations of its crash-prevention systems and headlights. It's important to note that this is just the first group of inductees -- as the IIHS continues testing other new models, the list may grow to cover even more vehicles.

For now, Subaru is the automaker with the most Top Safety Pick+ awards at seven, and the only exception ( Forester ) picked up Top Safety Pick. All three of ' vehicles have Top Safety Pick+, as well. Mercedes-Benz , and each have three vehicles with Top Safety Pick+.

Some vehicles were luckier than others, though. Thanks to that new test, some cars just barely missed the mark. The Chrysler Pacifica, Hyundai Accent, , and Toyota Highlander just missed Top Safety Pick+ because of Acceptable ratings in either headlight evaluations or the passenger-side small overlap test. If automakers issue updates to address this, they're welcome to resubmit the cars to the IIHS for additional testing.

Here's the full list of cars with IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards for 2019. You can check the IIHS' site to see the Top Safety Pick winners, as well:

Small cars

Midsize cars

Midsize luxury cars

Large cars

Large luxury cars

Small SUVs

  • Hyundai Kona
  • Mazda CX-5

Midsize SUVs

  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Sorento

Midsize luxury SUVs

2019 Subaru Ascent is a well-rounded family hauler

See all photos

Recalls: Stay up to date on vehicle safety.

Headlights: See why base trims get the shaft, according to the IIHS.