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These are the 21 safest cars and SUVs for 2018

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Mike Timmermann, Clark.com

Only 21 vehicles have received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top safety award after stricter requirements were put in place for 2018.

The IIHS first released the annual Top Safety Pick Plus and Top Safety Pick lists back in December 2017, but the organization has adjusted the list of winners throughout the year as new models are evaluated.

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These are the safest vehicles for 2018 

To qualify for Top Safety Pick Plus — the highest honor — vehicles must now have good headlight ratings and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in small overlap front crashes.

In addition to the 21 Top Safety Pick Plus winners, another 47 vehicles have earned the Top Safety Pick award — the second-tier honor — which now requires acceptable or good headlights. 

Take a look at the criteria for each award, followed by an updated list of the winners:

Top Safety Pick+ criteria

  • Good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests
  • Acceptable or Good rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test
  • Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention
  • Good headlight rating

Top Safety Pick+ winners — 21 vehicles 

Small cars

Midsize cars

Large luxury cars

Midsize SUVs

Midsize luxury SUV

Top Safety Pick criteria 

  • Good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests
  • Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention
  • Acceptable or Good headlight rating

Top Safety Pick winners — 47 vehicles 

Small cars

Midsize cars

Midsize luxury cars

Large cars

Large luxury car

Small SUVs

Midsize SUVs

Midsize luxury SUVs

Minivans

Large pickup

More details 

One important note: The “vast majority” of winners qualify only when optionally equipped because front crash prevention and acceptable or good headlights aren’t part of their base trims.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been recognizing vehicles with the Top Safety Pick designation since the 2006 model year and added Top Safety Pick Plus in the 2013 model year.

The organization said it has repeatedly strengthened criteria for both awards to push automakers to speed up safety advances.

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