And no, it's not a luxury brand.
Safety can be an enormous factor when people go to purchase a new car. A car has to transport families, and parents want to ensure their children are protected by the safest vehicle possible. In some cases, this can mean purchasing a luxury car with the most advanced safety technology. Automakers like Volvo have gained a reputation for building safe cars, but over the last few years, mainstream automakers have stepped up their game by earning the most awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In 2017, Mazda was the only automaker to receive the coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating across its entire lineup. Last year, Hyundai took home the crown of the world's safest automaker with 10 vehicles given either a Top Safety Pick or TSP+ ranking. And this year, Hyundai has been dethroned by its corporate sibling, Kia.
The 2020 Kia Telluride received just a TSP rating from the IIHS, falling just short of the + rating because of its headlights. This means that five Kia vehicles have now earned the TSP rating while seven have been given the difficult-to-receive TSP+ rating. "We are extremely proud of this significant achievement," said Orth Hedrick, Executive Director, Car Planning and Technology, Kia Motors America. "We constantly strive to build the best quality and safest vehicles possible and being the automaker with the most TSP and TSP+ ratings is ultimately gratifying."
Kia's TSP rated vehicles include the Rio sedan, Rio hatchback, Cadenza, Telluride, and Soul (2019). The seven TSP+ models include the Forte, Niro, Niro Plug-In, Soul (2020), Optima, Stinger, and Sorento.
Qualifying for a TSP or TSP+ rating is not a simple task. To receive a TSP designation, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests and an acceptable or good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test. It also has to earn an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.
TSP+ ratings are even more difficult to achieve because a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver and passenger-side small overlap front, the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests in addition to the crash prevention and headlight scores.