Vehicles from Honda, Hyundai, Lexus and Nissan Take Home IIHS Top Safety Award
Image: Honda

Vehicles from Honda, Hyundai, Lexus and Nissan Take Home IIHS Top Safety Award

January 15, 2016

Honda, Hyundai, Lexus and Nissan all have cars that have joined the ranks of those winning top awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The four-door Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata, Lexus RX, and Nissan Altima all took home a Top Safety Pick+ award in the first year that the IIHS has upped its award criteria. About 50 winners have already been announced.

To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+, winners must earn "good" ratings in each of the five crash tests and have an available front crash prevention system earning an "advanced" or "superior" rating. Vehicles that meet the crash test criteria, but only have a "basic"-rated front crash prevention system qualify for a Top Safety Pick.

All four cars come with a "superior"-rated optimal front crash prevention system. The Civic, Sonata, and RX avoided collisions at 12 mph and 25 mph. The Altima avoided a collision at 12 mph, while in the 25 mph test, its impact speed was cut by 10 mph. All include a warning function that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

Honda's small Civic was redesigned for 2016, but the 2015 also fared well in tests, earning a Top Safety Pick under the old criteria. The RX, a midsize luxury SUV was also redesigned, but older models had not been tested in the small overlap front crash test.

The Sonata and Altima also took home awards in 2015, but their structure has been improved to raise their small overlap front ratings from acceptable to good. Consumers interested in purchasing a new Sonata should be mindful that improvements were made after production for the 2016 model year had already begun. The top award only applies to Sonatas built after October.