57 Models Win IIHS’ 2019 Top Safety Pick Awards, But Only One Is American

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has revealed 57 models have met its tougher criteria to earn a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award for 2019.

According to the organization, all of the models earn good ratings in the Institute’s five primary crashworthiness tests and have an available automatic emergency braking system that rates either advanced or superior.

For 2019, the IIHS tightened the standards for winning an award and models had to have an acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side crash test to quality for a Top Safety Pick award. To earn the honor of being a Top Safety Pick+, the models also had to have a good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test.

30 models won the top award and the IIHS says all of them have available headlights with a good rating. The 27 Top Safety Pick models, on the other hand, have headlights with at least an acceptable rating.

While nearly 60 different models took home an award, the IIHS notes a majority of the winners only qualify when equipped with optional headlights and a front crash prevention system. As they noted, these safety features rarely come standard on base models. However, the situation is improving as 31 of this year’s winners have a standard front crash prevention system and 20 automakers have announced plans to make automatic braking systems standard on a majority of their vehicles by 2022.

The winners include a pretty diverse group of vehicles, but there are some notable exceptions. All trucks and microcars failed to win a Top Safety Pick award, while minicars and minivans couldn’t meet the standards to win a Top Safety Pick+ award.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the results. Subaru was the top winner as they walked away with seven Top Safety Pick+ awards and Top Safety Pick award for the Forester. Kia picked up five Top Safety Pick+ awards and a Top Safety Pick award for the Soul.

While there’s only a handful of luxury models on the list, the entire Genesis lineup won awards as the G70, G80 and G90 were Top Safety Pick+ winners. It’s also worth noting the only vehicle from American automakers to make the list was the Chrysler Pacifica which won a Top Safety Pick award.


  • brn

    A few years ago, I looked up my vehicle to see how it did. I was surprised to learn that, while scoring top marks on all tests, it wasn’t selected as a top safety pick. Why? Because they ran all but one test. It did as well or better than then top pick in all other tests. However, because one test wasn’t run, it was disqualified.

    Can’t win a race that you’re not allowed to finish.

    • Warren Trout

      Tesla does not even enter the race

  • Jay

    I find it weird that there’s not even one Volvo on this list.

    • Aura

      Because they have not been tested for the passenger-side small overlap, which is required for either rating.

  • schnittz

    chrysler is not American!


      it is actually.

      • mihsf

        More or less. It is like saying Opel is German, Lamborghini is Italian and Holden is Australian.


    Wait, were is Lexus?

  • Warren Trout

    Americans care about horsepower, performance, looks…

    Life and death is way down the list.

  • charlotteharry57

    This is a huge slap in the face for the “American” brands and, frankly, absolutely disgusting. Several “American” models missed the cut because the manufacturer cut costs and installed inferior LED headlights (and then overcharged for them, to be sure). Yet another reason that my sympathy for GM, Ford and FCA is waning…quickly.

    • mihsf

      FCA makes the Chrysler Pacifica which is part of this list. They also designed the excellent Giulia and Stelvio… and the not so good Wrangler.

  • Big Black Duck

    Hyundai and Kia should really pat themselves in the back…they are making some really great cars

  • dumblikeyou2

    The good headlight rating is probably where most cars fell off the list.

  • Bill Nguyen

    Heh, Americans… They can go to the moon, but they can’t even make a car that can handle a small overlap frontal impact test where a vehicle travels at 40 mph toward a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier made of a deformable aluminum honeycomb, and a Hybrid III dummy representing an average-size man is positioned in the driver seat position, and twenty-five percent of the total width of the vehicle strikes the barrier on the driver side…

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