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IIHS: The Safest Cars of 2022

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Car buyers who consider safety a must-have feature can now choose from an even greater variety, according to the 2022 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s TOP SAFETY PICK award list.

This year’s list recognized 101 vehicles in all, naming 65 models TOP SAFETY PICK+ choices and another 36 TOP SAFETY PICKs.

In the annual TOP SAFETY PICK awards, the IIHS announces which new models performed best in their evaluations. The list is organized by size and type on the IIHS website.

How Are TOP SAFETY PICKs Determined?

Each year, the IIHS, a nonprofit research and education organization, conducts tests to determine how vehicles fair in two aspects of safety: crashworthiness and crash avoidance/mitigation. It also evaluates other elements of vehicle safety, such as headlight ratings.

The IIHS awarded winners in 11 size categories, from small cars to large pickups.

All award-winning models earned “good” ratings in six crashworthiness tests and offer trims with front-crash prevention systems with “advanced” or “superior” ratings. Every winner must also have at least one headlight system that earns a “good” or “acceptable” rating.

While no new award criteria were introduced this year, some features were common among the winners. Front-crash prevention systems with “advanced” or “superior” ratings in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations are standard on all but two TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners and 30 out of 36 TOP SAFETY PICK winners. And although standard “acceptable” headlights can qualify for the higher award, 31 models come exclusively with “good” headlights.

Headlight and front-crash prevention improvements are increasingly becoming standard across the industry. Carmakers have pledged to make vehicle-to-vehicle automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all the light-duty vehicles they produce beginning this September.

(See also: The Driver’s Guide to Headlights)

IIHS has already announced two new evaluations to its awards requirements for 2023: an updated side test and a nighttime pedestrian crash prevention test.

The 2022 TOP SAFETY PICK Winners

This year’s 101 overall picks and 65 TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners surpassed last year’s list of 90 total winners and 49 “plus” vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Group, consisting of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, led all manufacturers with 21 total TOP SAFETY PICKs, including 11 “plus” award winners. The Korean automaker placed vehicles in nine categories, including four models in the Small SUV class (the Hyundai Tucson was a TOP SAFETY PICK+, while the Hyundai Venue, Kia Seltos and Kia Sportage were all TOP SAFETY PICKS).

The Volkswagen Group, which comprises the Volkswagen and Audi brands, earned 11 accolades, including eight plus selections. Volvo, which led manufacturers with nine TOP SAFETY PICKs+ a year ago, placed 10 in the same category in 2022.

This year’s minivan and pickup truck classes also grew to include four vehicles apiece after only two minivans and one pickup qualified in 2021.

For the full list of winners and ratings, visit

Insurance for New and Used Cars

Car shopping doesn’t just mean kicking tires and taking test drives. It’s also an ideal time to examine your auto insurance options. For both endeavors, here are a few articles from our blog that might help:

At ERIE, we want to help you find the right coverage for your ride—whether it’s new or used. Contact your local ERIE agent to start the conversation.

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