After two revisions to its compact sedan, Lexus has finally earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top accolade.
Thehas earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, the non-government organization's highest award for vehicle safety. In order to achieve this, a vehicle must receive a score of Good in every crash test, and it must pass evaluations of both its headlights and crash-prevention systems.
If there's one IIHS crash test that's caused more headaches than any other, it's the small-overlap front test, which mimics an off-center crash into an object like a telephone pole. Lexus reinforced the IS' front end in 2016 to help pass this test, but it only earned the second-best score of Acceptable. Subsequent revisions starting in July 2017 allow it to pass the test with the coveted Good rating.
The IS received a rating of Superior for its collision avoidance systems, which include both forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The system is standard on the IS, so there's no need to pay for expensive options packages there.
In terms of headlights, the IS only earned a passing score of Acceptable with its optional LED projector headlights, which feature automatic high beams. This was the only type of headlight tested, so other versions may fare better or worse.
The 2017 Lexus IS joins several other Lexus models with Top Safety Pick+ awards, including the 2017 Lexus, and . The Prius-based CT200h, , came very close to being on this list with its Top Safety Pick award.