Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests and analyzes each new consumer model before they hit the lots so you know how safe they are before you make your purchase. The Top Safety Pick winners are fairly numerous, but this summary contains an overview of the 2017 vehicles that won with standard or minimal additional features.
The Corolla was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ for receiving a grade of good in all five crash tests and superior mitigation and avoidance. Toyota received several top-placing models, often with multiple cars in each category. For a more complete listing of all of their models that acknowledged as safe, visit the official website of the institute as well as Toyota's own page, which lists the models as well as all available safety features.
The MDX received top marks in all categories examined and as such received a Top Safety Pick+ with just the standard features. This luxury SUV comes straight from the factory as one of the safest SUVs you can find anywhere, with a starting price of $44,000.
The Passat received a Top Safety Pick with standard equipment. Well known for its safe vehicles, Volkswagen included many features in this model, such as autonomous emergency braking and front collision assistance. Volkswagen also has numerous models receiving IIHS accolades this year, as noted at their official website.
The G80 and its big brother the G90 both received Top Safety Picks, missing the highest marks solely for marginal ease of use for child seat anchors in the back row. The anchors are present but they’re just recessed a little. Overall, they’re both great safety choices for large luxury sedans.
The XC90 has, since its inception, always held high standards with regards to safety and is persistently receiving awards for safety. This year, it continues this trend with a Top Safety Pick. The slightly smaller XC60 is much the same, though it received slightly better ratings due to offering better headlights. You can’t go wrong with either SUV, and the Swedish-designed interior ensures that you’re just as comfortable as you are safe.
The Q7 is the only large SUV model this year to receive a Top Safety Pick and results show that both the driver and passengers in any seat have very little risk for serious injury from a collision at any angle. Combine that with the fact that it comes standard with sensors and automatic braking systems and you have one of the best large consumer vehicles to hit the streets.
The Volt is designed to be as safe as it is practical, and with the optional adaptive cruise control included it received a Top Safety Pick+. Not only is this a purely electric car, it is built to provide you with a cushion of security from all angles as well.
Lexus ES 350
The ES 350 is following in line with Lexus’ ability to set the safety standard for midsize luxury cars by earning a Top Safety Pick+ when purchased with optional headlight upgrades. Lexus is well-known for building cars that take the comfort and technology you have in your home and placing it inside sleek and sophisticated cars. Often, the place you feel safest is inside your home, and the ES 350 makes sure that you take that with you by including traction control, driving and parking assistance and multiple cameras as standard features. Because of their many inclusions, the ES 350 swept the ratings board, including superior ratings for collision avoidance and mitigation.
The Pathfinder is an excellent choice for a midsize SUV that is reliable, safe and affordable straight off the line. Starting at $30,000. this vehicle is not only capable of off-road performance, but it also has garnered a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS and a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is a vehicle that can safely fit seven adults, hit the trails, tow a best-in-class 6,000 pounds and still has an estimated fuel economy of 27 mpg on the highway--what more could you want from an SUV?
Honda has six vehicles named by the IIHS in this list, but the Ridgeline is unique in that it is the only truck, let alone large pickup, to receive not just a top pick but a Top Safety Pick+. The Ridgeline, when equipped with optional headlights and the Honda Sensing Package, sets the gold standard for pickup safety. With glowing ratings in every single category tested by the IIHS, that bar is placed quite high as well. In fact, in many areas that were tested, the safety provided by the Ridgeline vastly exceeded the standards required for superior ratings.
For the past several years, the Kia Sedona has been one of the safest minivans on the market, and this year is no different. It’s earned a Top Safety Pick, with superior front crash prevention ratings thanks to its autonomous emergency braking systems. As with many of the other featured vehicles on the list, the only area in which the Sedona could improve is in headlights, with curve-adaptive technology and high-beam assist. Overall, it is an exceptionally safe people-carrier with a recipe that can only improve moving forward.
The GLE-Class is a midsize luxury SUV filled with that high standard of German engineering for which Mercedes-Benz has become famous. This model has been granted a Top Safety Pick+ rating for the second time in its two-year production run. This means that not only is it one of the safest SUVs you can buy anywhere, it’s also the only one that has never received any rating below excellent from the IIHS, with the exception of headlights which have been found to cause a little glare with the low beams.