But there is a caveat.
Modern technology has come a long way towards making cars safer, even smaller models from non-premium automakers. Kia recently claimed the title of having the most cars with Top Safety Pick (TSP) and Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), beating out its sister company Hyundai. Earning a TSP rating is far from guaranteed and earning the coveted TSP+ rating is even more difficult due to stringent headlight requirements.
The Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling car in the United States, behind only the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks, but how safe is it in a crash? The IIHS recently tested the 2019 RAV4 and as you'd expect from the best-selling non-truck in America, the results were excellent (with a slight caveat).
The IIHS awarded the 2019 RAV4 the coveted TSP+ rating, the highest rating available. It is worth noting, however, the rating comes with the disclaimer "Award applies only to vehicles with specific headlights." Only the RAV4 Hybrid Limited trim level earned a "good" rating for headlights while all gas trims and all other hybrid trims received either a "marginal" or "poor" rating.
The RAV4 is not the only vehicle to meet the scrutiny of the IIHS's headlight requirements, as the Kia Telluride recently fell short of the TSP+ rating for the same reason. Headlights have become a major safety concern in the US, partially due to the country's outdated laws that prevent automakers from using fully adaptive lights.
Aside from the headlight caveat, the RAV4 scored "good" in all other categories, placing it as one of only six small SUVs to receive the TSP+ rating including the Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Kona, and Volvo XC40. The RAV4 also received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When we drove the 2019 RAV4, we noted how the hybrid drivetrain provided a smoother driving experience and with this recent crash test information, it remains the one we'd recommend.