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IIHS: Honda Leads Industry With 6 Top Safety Pick+ Vehicles

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author photo by Doug DeMuro December 2013
  • Honda has most vehicles with Top Safety Pick+ rating
  • Honda boasts four ratings, while upscale Acura brand adds two
  • Subaru, Volvo and Mazda each earned three Top Safety Pick+ designations

If you're looking for a safe new car, you may want to look closer at a Honda. The automaker has officially earned six Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit group funded by insurance companies. Honda had more top ratings than any other automaker.

Four Honda models earned the Top Safety Pick+ rating: the Accord sedan and coupe, the Civic sedan and the Odyssey minivan. The MDX crossover and RLX luxury sedan from Honda's upscale Acura brand also earned the top rating.

Honda's safety record doesn't stop at six Top Safety Pick+ vehicles. IIHS also gave the Honda Civic coupe and the Acura TL its Top Safety Pick rating, which falls just below the highest overall level.

So how do you earn a high safety rating from the IIHS? For one, you have to perform well in a battery of the group's tests. Those include a frontal impact called the "moderate overlap front" test, a side-impact test, a roof-strength test, a head-restraint test and a newly created "small overlap front" test, which involves a vehicle colliding with a fixed object on the driver's side. Receiving a Good rating in four of those five categories earns a Top Safety Pick score. 

To earn the Top Safety Pick+ rating, vehicles must go one step further. Not only do they need to earn Good scores in IIHS tests, they also must earn a high-level rating in a category called "front crash prevention." This category sees whether vehicles offer the latest collision-avoidance technologies, such as blind spot monitoring, automatic braking and lane-departure warning. 

While Honda's IIHS success is commendable, several other brands have also earned high scores with the safety group. Volvo, Subaru and Mazda each earned three spots on the Top Safety Pick+ list, while Ford and Lincoln managed two spots. 

What it means to you: According to IIHS, Honda's current lineup is among the safest on the road.

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IIHS: Honda Leads Industry With 6 Top Safety Pick+ Vehicles - Autotrader