2024 Safest Top Rated Cars and SUV: Insights from the IIHS

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Safest Top Rated Cars and SUV

What are the safest new vehicles that you can buy? That’s what we’re going to find out.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, otherwise known as the IIHS, recently released their top safety pics for 2024, and they’ve made their crash testing requirements tougher than ever this year.

So many vehicles that were winners in the past have now failed to meet the higher standards of the new stricter tests.

49 vehicles won the top safety pick award so far under the new testing, and only 22 vehicles went a step beyond to win the even higher top safety pick plus award.

So let’s see who the winners were in every major category, starting with compact cars.

Subaru Impreza and Hyundai Elantra

Two models earned the Top Safety Pick Award. These are the Subaru Impreza and the Hyundai Elantra.

Both of these models were updated for 2024, and these updates allowed both to pass the new stricter crash testing requirements.

There were only three compact cars which won the higher Top Safety Pick Plus Award. These are the Mazda 3, the Acura Integra, and the Toyota Prius.

The Mazda 3 and the Integra won last year as well. The Prius is another great one to see win. It was my choice for car of the year.

So it is comforting to know that it is one of the safest cars that you can buy brand new. Okay, let’s move on to mid-size and large cars.

Camry, Crown and Subaru Outback

The winners for the top safety pick award for mid-size cars and large cars include the Toyota Camry, the Toyota Crown, and the Subaru Outback.

The Camry was interesting to see, considering that an all-new, updated version has just arrived for 2025.

So the fact that the outgoing model is still a top safety pick is great to see. The winners of the higher Their top safety pick plus award are the All-Electric Hyundai Ionic 6 and the Honda Accord.

So as of now, these two are the top choices among mid-size cars. And now let’s take a look at small SUVs. Now, there were quite a few choices that won in this category.

Honda CRV, Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage

The winners of the top safety pick award include the Honda CRV, the Hyundai Tucson, or the Kia Sportage, the Lexus UX, the BMW X1, and a few electric models, including the Hyundai Ionic 5, the Lexus RG or RZ, and the Subaru Soltera.

The Honda CRV and the Lexus UX are repeat winners from the previous year, so it is Great to see that they continue to be top safety picks under the new testing.

And the winners for the higher top safety pick plus award include the Mazda CX30 and the Mazda CX50, the Honda HRV, the Hyundai Kona, and one electric model, which is the Genesis GV60.

And again, both Mazda models and the Honda HRV are repeat winners from the previous year. So great to see them win again. And now moving on to larger mid-sized SUVs.

Now, again, there are a lot of vehicles that won for this category, which the IIHS divided into both luxury and non-luxury mid-sized SUVs. Let’s start with the non-luxury SUVs.

Hyundai Palisade, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee

There are quite a few winners for the top safety pick award. These include the Hyundai Palisade, the Honda Pilot, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Toyota Highlander, and the Volkswagen Atlas.

And there was one electric vehicle, which was the Nissan Aria. And as for the top safety pick plus award, the winners for this one include the Kia Telluride, the Nissan Pathfinder, and the Subaru Ascent, the Mazda CX90, and the Ford Explorer.

And there were even more winners when it comes the luxury mid-sized SUVs.

When it comes to the top safety picks, these ones include the Acura RDX, the Genesis GV70, the Infinity QX60, the Lexus NX, and the Lexus Rx, the Volvo XC90, and the Mercedes GLC.

I’m sure some might find it surprising to see that Volvo, a brand that was traditionally known for having the safest vehicles, didn’t win the highest top safety pick plus award this this year.

For that award, there were other SUVs that were winners. These include the Mercedes GLE, the Tesla Model Y, the Genesis GV80, the BMW X3, and the Acura MDX.

All of these SUVs won the Top Safety Pick Plus Award, which is impressive. The next category that we have is the minivan category.

Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Siena

For this one, the IIHS only had two winners for the top safety pick. These two include the Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Siena.

There wasn’t a single minivan that won the top safety pick plus award, and the other minivans from Kia and Chrysler, well, they weren’t on the list at all.

Another category of vehicle which didn’t have very many winners is the truck category.

The only trucks that were rated a top safety pick this year include the Hyundai Santa Cruz, the Rivian R1T, and the Toyota Tundra. Like many vans, no trucks won the top safety pick Plus Award.

So there are some very clear standouts in terms of which brands stand at the very top when it comes to safety.

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia, had the most awards for 2024. Six top Safety Pick Plus awards, and 10 Top Safety Pick awards for a total of 16.

Toyota and Lexus

But again, these awards are divided between three brands. The next brand that’s a standout is Toyota Motor Corporation. which includes both Toyota and Lexus.

They had the next highest total with one Top Safety Pick Plus award and 12 Top Safety Pick awards for a total of 13. But again, this is divided between both Toyota and Lexus.

The one standalone brand which won the most awards was actually Mazda, earning the most top safety pick plus awards with a total of five plus one top safety pick award, which means they won six awards overall.

That’s pretty incredible to see. Mazda has been absolutely nailing it when it comes to safety over the past few years.

And considering what a small company they are relative to the competition, winning so many top safety awards is a pretty incredible achievement. And for those wondering, quite a few electric cars won awards this year.

Many electric cars are proving to be some of the safest vehicles in terms of crash testing performance.

And I know Although some skeptics of electric vehicles have expressed safety concerns over the batteries being a potentially dangerous and very hazardous safety risk if they catch on fire, which is true to a certain degree.

But to be fair, electric vehicles actually catching on fire in the real world seems to be a very rare occurrence, specifically those involving the battery.

The likelihood of this happening seems to be far lower than a traditional gas car catching fire, which is still far more common, even taking into account the relative numbers of each.

So even though a battery fire involving an electric vehicle is an absolutely terrible situation and quite a dangerous one because the actual numbers of this occurring in the real world are so incredibly low, at least when compared to fires of gas-powered vehicles, it’s definitely not a deal-breaker.

And electric vehicles are considered some of the safest on the road, at least when it comes to their active and passive safety, especially in terms of their crashworthiness.

Now, the IIHS website explains how the testing was made tougher this year in a number of areas, and this really does seem to be the most comprehensive crash testing that we have.

Certainly, others are extremely good as well, including Nitzas 5-star Safety Rating System and the Euro N-CAP Safety Rating.

These are both excellent, and you will certainly be covering all your bases If you select a vehicle that has a top safety rating from all three.

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