The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety announced 115 recipients of its Top Safety Pick award. With 18 new vehicles joining the list for 2012, it’s especially surprising that 10 of them happen to be Honda models that have all been on sale for years now, showing the brand’s willingness to modify aging and outgoing products.
The company’s products to newly make the list this year are the Honda Fit, CR-Z, Insight, Accord, CR-V, Pilot, and Ridgeline, as well as the Acura TL built after Sept. 2011, TSX, and MDX. The Honda Odyssey minivan and Civic sedan are the company’s only repeat winners.
“Honda/Acura deserves credit for most-improved status,” says IIHS president Adrian Lund. “The automaker buckled down and upgraded roofs on 10 models that missed winning last year because of rollover protection.”
Other new vehicles to crack the 2012 list are the Toyota Yaris five-door hatchback, Scion xD, Subaru Impreza except for WRX models, Buick Verano, Toyota Camry and Prius v, BMW X3, and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Of note, with the inclusion of the 2012 Subaru Impreza, all of Subaru’s models make the list—the automaker to have such a distinction. It should be noted that the 2012 WRX is based on the 2008-2011 Impreza design.
In recent years, IIHS testing has become tougher with the inclusion of a rollover test where cars tested had to receive a “Good” rating to receive Top Safety Pick honors. With it, cars have to withstand forces of up to four times a vehicle’s weight sitting upon their roofs.
Other testing cars must pass include a 40-mph frontal offset crash test, a 31-mph side impact from a simulated full-size truck, and a 20-mph rear impact. The IIHS prides itself with testing vehicles to a higher standard than what is mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration federal agency.