15 safest vehicles you can drive in 2018

WASHINGTON — The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has updated its Top Safety Pick+ requirements to include good-rated headlights and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in small overlap front crashes — and as a result, just 15 vehicles qualify for top honors.

“Doesn’t mean that vehicles have gotten less safe, it really just reflects that we’ve raised the bar,” IIHS President Adrian Lund told CBS.

Forty-seven others did earn the lesser Top Safety Pick award.

Hyundai, with its Genesis and Kia sub-brands, lead the way.

“That company had six Top Safety Pick+ winners there,” Lund said. “And Subaru continues to be a standout with four of their vehicles winning Top Safety Pick+.”

Subaru had the most Safety Pick+ vehicles.

Vehicles the IIHS studied included small cars, midsize cars, large luxury cars, midsize SUVs and midsize luxury SUVs.

Click through the gallery below to see which cars received top honors.

The Kia Forte sedan was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. (Courtesy Kia)
The Kia Forte sedan was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. (Courtesy Kia)

The Kia Soul also earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Kia)
The Kia Soul also earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Kia)

The Subaru Imprezza is considered a top choice for safety by the IIHS. (Courtesy Subaru)
The Subaru Imprezza is considered a top choice for safety by the IIHS. Both the 4-door sedan and the 4-door wagon earned a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy Subaru)

The 2018 Subaru WRX earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Subaru)
The 2018 Subaru WRX earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Subaru)

The Subaru Legacy was awarded a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy Subaru)
The Subaru Legacy was awarded a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy Subaru)

The Subaru Outback is a Top Safety Pick+ winner. (Courtesy Subaru)
The Subaru Outback is a Top Safety Pick+ winner. (Courtesy Subaru)

The Toyota Camry picked up an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Toyota)
The Toyota Camry picked up an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Toyota)

The BMW 5 series is a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy BMW)
In the large luxury cars class, the BMW 5 Series is a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy BMW)

In the large luxury cars class, the Genesis G80 nabbed a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Genesis)
The Genesis G80 nabbed a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Genesis)

The Genesis G90 also picked up a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Genesis)
The Genesis G90 also picked up a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Genesis)

The new 2018 Lincoln Continental is a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy Lincoln)
The new 2018 Lincoln Continental is a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy Lincoln)

Mercedes-Benz picked up a  Top Safety Pick+ award with its E-Class sedan. (Courtesy Mercedes-Benz)
Mercedes-Benz picked up a Top Safety Pick+ award with its E-Class sedan. (Courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

In its recall announced Saturday, Hyundai says some of Santa Fe vehicles are at risk for the steering wheel breaking away from the steering column. Roughly 43,900 vehicles are included in Hyundai's recall.(Courtesy Hyundai)
Hyundai’s Hyundai Santa Fe SUV grabbed a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Hyundai)

As did the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. (Courtesy Hyundai)
As did the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. (Courtesy Hyundai)

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner. (Courtesy Mercedes-Benz)
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner. (Courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

(1/15)
The Kia Forte sedan was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. (Courtesy Kia)
The Kia Soul also earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Kia)
The Subaru Imprezza is considered a top choice for safety by the IIHS. (Courtesy Subaru)
The 2018 Subaru WRX earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Subaru)
The Subaru Legacy was awarded a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy Subaru)
The Subaru Outback is a Top Safety Pick+ winner. (Courtesy Subaru)
The Toyota Camry picked up an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Toyota)
The BMW 5 series is a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy BMW)
In the large luxury cars class, the Genesis G80 nabbed a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Genesis)
The Genesis G90 also picked up a Top Safety Pick+ award. (Courtesy Genesis)
The new 2018 Lincoln Continental is a Top Safety Pick+. (Courtesy Lincoln)
Mercedes-Benz picked up a  Top Safety Pick+ award with its E-Class sedan. (Courtesy Mercedes-Benz)
In its recall announced Saturday, Hyundai says some of Santa Fe vehicles are at risk for the steering wheel breaking away from the steering column. Roughly 43,900 vehicles are included in Hyundai's recall.(Courtesy Hyundai)
As did the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. (Courtesy Hyundai)
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner. (Courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up