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SAN ANTONIO - Fifteen model year 2018 cars and SUVs earned the highest safetycars with high safety rating
honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

The group put the vehicles through crash tests and new stiffer requirements.

The group crashed brand new vehicles at speeds of 40 miles per hour in the pursuit of safety. This year, a new test was included — simulating what happens when the front corner of the passenger's side smacks into a tree or pole. Previously, only the driver's side faced that test.

"We developed this test when it became clear that some manufacturers were not paying attention to the passenger side," said Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "Drivers expect their passengers will be protected as well as they are."

Hyundai — which includes some Kias — and Subaru were the big winners, earning the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards.

Top Safety Pick Plus awarded vehicles:

Kia Forte (sedan only)

Kia Soul

Subaru Impreza

Subaru WRX

Subaru Legacy

Subaru Outback

Toyota Camry

BMW 5 Series

Genesis G80

Genesis G90

Lincoln Continental

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (sedan only)

Hyundai Sante Fe

Hyundai Sante Fe Sport

Mercedes Benz GLC

Another 47 vehicles earned Top Safety Pick honors from IIHS, with Toyota getting the most.

Headlights also had to perform to standards in another new test in order to earn top ratings.

"Too many headlights don't light enough road," Lund said.

Rather than design elements, Lund said headlights should be treated as safety features to help avoid a crash at night.

Most cars on the top pick lists only qualified when they came with optional equipment, such as automatic emergency braking. Automakers have committed to making this technology standard by 2022.

Lund said Toyota leads the way in making crash avoidance technology standard equipment.

As more 2018 models are tested, IIHS will expand the list.

List of 2018 vehicles earning Top Safety Pick:


Chevrolet Volt
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Elantra GT
Mazda 3
Subaru Crosstrek
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius Prime
Honda Accord
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Optima
Nissan Altima
Nissan Maxima
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Audi A3
Audi A4
BMW 3 Series Sedan Lexus ES
Lexus IS

Volvo S60
Volvo V60
Kia Cadenza
Toyota Avalon
Honda CR-V
Hyundai Tucson
Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-3
Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Rogue
Subaru Forester
Toyota Rav4

Honda Pilot
Kia Sorento
Mazda CX-9
Toyota Highlander
Acura MDX
Acura RDX
Buick Envision
Lexus NX
Lexus RX
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
Volvo XC60
Chrysler Pacifica
Honda Odyssey
Honda Ridgeline



This article originally published on by By Marilyn Moritz

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