Most vehicles will not prevent you from getting into an accident, even as technologies that help in this regard roll out. Yet, certain cars perform better in safety tests than others. Strong safety ratings may not guarantee protection in a serious crash. But owning a car that’s received high marks can nonetheless decrease your chances of injury and fatality in a collision. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has a rating system that can help you find these vehicles.

The criteria

Each year, the IIHS bestows its Top Safety Pick+ rating upon vehicles that exceed safety standards. The agency considers three factors when making this designation. They are:

  • Whether a vehicle rated as good in all six major crash test assessments
  • Whether a vehicle’s available front crash prevention rated as advanced or superior
  • Whether a vehicle’s standard headlights rated as good or acceptable

The winners

In 2020, 24 vehicles earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. Mazda had the strongest showing of any automaker, with five of the brand’s vehicles receiving a Top Safety Pick+ rating. Subaru followed close behind, with four of its vehicles earning a top rating. The full list of Top Safety Pick+ vehicles includes:

  • Acura RDX
  • Audi A6 (sedan and allroad wagon)
  • Cadillac XT6
  • Genesis G70, G80 and G90
  • Honda Insight
  • Hyundai Nexo
  • Lexus E350 and NX
  • Mazda 3 (sedan and hatchback), 6, CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class and GLE-Class (both with optional front crash prevention)
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Forester, Legacy and Outback
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Toyota Camry

Getting behind the wheel comes with inherent risks. But driving a vehicle with a top safety rating will offer you proper protection if you’re involved in an auto accident. And it will give you peace of mind whenever you hit the road.