Korean and Japanese cars offer the safest 2019 model-year vehicles according to the IIHS.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published a list of 2019 model-year vehicles that earned its Top Safety Pick Award. 30 vehicles earned the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, which is double the number of cars that earned it last year. That’s an impressive feat, considering the IIHS has imposed stricter safety requirements this year.
To earn that title, vehicles must receive a 'good' rating for passenger-side overlap front-crash protection and have good-rated headlights in addition to the requirements to earn a Top Safety Pick Award, which another 27 vehicles qualified for. To earn this award, vehicles must earn an ‘acceptable’ rating in the passenger-side overlap test and ‘good’ ratings in the remaining five crashworthiness tests. Vehicles must also have an automatic emergency braking system available either as standard or optional equipment.
Subaru earned the highest number of 2019 Top Safety Pick+ awards for the Ascent, Crosstrek, Impreza sedan and wagon, Legacy, Outback and WRX. The Forester failed to qualify for the top award because its headlights were rated as acceptable, but it was still awarded a Top Safety Pick.
Hyundai and Kia also earned four and five Top Safety Pick+ awards respectively, while Genesis was awarded three. Hyundai also earned six Top Safety Picks, and Kia earned three. Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, BMW, Lexus, Acura, Honda, and Mazda round out the list for Top Safety Pick + winners. Apart from a couple of German brands, the vast majority of automakers that made the list are either Korean or Japanese.
You might be wondering why Volvo isn’t on the list, considering its reputation for safety. Well, the IIHS says the Swedish automaker hasn't yet qualified for a 2019 award due to missing passenger-side small overlap front test results. Strangely, Tesla didn’t provide IIHS with any data or vehicles to test.
In fact, only one American automaker made the list of 57 vehicles that qualified for either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award - that would be the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica minivan, which earned the same Top Safety Pick award as last year.