Japanese and Korean cars dominate IIHS safety picks — double last year
20 December 2018 - Autoblog
Only one American car made the list
Double the amount of cars from last year are IIHS Top Safety Pick+ recipients. The number went from 15 for 2018 up to 30 for 2019 model year vehicles. This huge jump is even more significant, because the IIHS made its testing requirements harder to meet. There were 17 more models that just missed the mark for the top award because their headlights didn't get the best rating of "good" available.
The IIHS qualified 70 percent of the vehicles receiving the Top Safety Pick+ award as cars. Small and midsize SUVs made up the other 30 percent of vehicles winning the award. Unsurprisingly, trucks were left completely off all IIHS safety pick lists — the Honda Ridgeline made it in 2018, but dropped off for 2019. Subaru took home more top honors than any other manufacturer with seven. The Forester missed the "Plus" category due to its headlights, but it still qualified for a Top Safety Pick award.
Another notable tidbit we saw is the complete absence of American vehicles on both lists. The only one to make it is the Chrysler Pacifica, and it managed to get the same Top Safety Pick rating as last year. Nearly every other vehicle on the list is either Japanese or Korean. Hyundai had the most vehicles total if you tally from both the Pick and Pick+ lists. A few of the Germans like Mercedes, BMW and Audi made it in, but there isn't a Swede (i.e. Volvo) in sight. The IIHS says this is the case because Volvo is missing passenger-side small overlap front test results.
Electric vehicles are lacking from the list, too. Only the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid made it to represent cars with a plug. Tesla didn't have a single vehicle making the cut for one big reason: The company didn't provide IIHS with any data or vehicles to test, automatically eliminating it from the competition. For all the bragging Tesla likes to do about safety, it's somewhat odd the company didn't want to be rated.
In case you were wondering, the IIHS made it tougher to be a Top Safety Pick+ by requiring a higher level of performance from its passenger-side small overlap front crash test. Before, only an "acceptable" rating was necessary, but now it requires a "good" to get full marks. In addition to that, "good"-rated headlights must at least be available for each model. After these tougher criteria, we're left with 57 vehicles total that received either a Top Pick or Top Pick+ from the IIHS. Unfortunately for the auto industry, that's five fewer cars than 2018, despite doubling the number of cars that got Top Safety Pick+ honors.