Safest new cars of 2020 awarded by IIHS

Safety first.

A solid rule for the road, and one the IIHS Top Safety Picks can steer you toward.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its annual list of best-performing new cars based on updated criteria that prioritize protection for pedestrians as well as vehicle occupants.

Sixty-four vehicles – all 2020 model-year cars and SUVs – are split across Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards. To qualify, each must have good ratings in crashworthiness evaluations; good or acceptable headlights, and available front crash prevention with an advanced to superior rating.

 

Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the safest small SUVs around. Credit: Mazda/Newspress USA

 

Most attention goes to 23 models achieving the higher Top Safety Pick+ accreditation, for which good or acceptable headlights are standard rather than available.

Good visibility is key to avoiding crashes in the dark, emphasizes the IIHS, and the awards criteria make it easier for consumers to find the right lights.

As you read through the winners that follow, bear in mind these awards reflect the safest vehicles within specific size categories.

“Larger, heavier vehicles generally afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones,” says IIHS. “Thus, a small car that qualifies for an award might not protect its occupants as well as a bigger vehicle that doesn’t earn the award.”

 

Top Safety Pick+ winners

Small cars
Honda Insight, 4-door sedan
Mazda 3, 4-door hatchback
Mazda 3, 4-door sedan
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, 4-door wagon

Midsize cars
Mazda 6, 4-door sedan
Nissan Maxima, 4-door sedan
Subaru Legacy, 4-door sedan
Subaru Outback, 4-door wagon
Toyota Camry, 4-door sedan

Midsize luxury cars
Lexus ES 350, 4-door sedan
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 4-door sedan (with optional front crash prevention)
Tesla Model 3, 4-door sedan

Large luxury cars
Audi A6, 4-door sedan
Genesis G70, 4-door sedan (only vehicles build after December 2019)
Genesis G80, 4-door sedan

Small SUVs
Mazda CX-3, 4-door
Mazda CX-5, 4-door (with optional front crash prevention)
Subaru Forester, 4-door

Midsize luxury SUVs
Acura RDX, 4-door
Cadillac XT6, 4-door (only vehicles build after October 2019)
Hyundai Nexo, 4-door
Lexus NX, 4-door
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, 4-door (with optional front crash prevention; only vehicles build after July 2019)

 

Top Safety Pick winners

Each vehicle was chosen with specific headlights.

Small cars
Honda Civic, 2-door coupe
Honda Civic, 4-door hatchback (does not apply to Type R)
Honda Civic, 4-door sedan
Hyundai Elantra, 4-door sedan (with optional front crash prevention)
Hyundai Elantra GT, 4-door hatchback (with optional front crash prevention)
Hyundai Veloster, 2-door hatchback (with optional front crash prevention)
Kia Forte, 4-door sedan (with optional front crash prevention)
Kia Soul, 4-door wagon (with optional front crash prevention)
Subaru Crosstrek, 4-door wagon (with optional front crash prevention)
Subaru Impreza, 4-door sedan (with optional front crash prevention)
Subaru Impreza, 4-door wagon (with optional front crash prevention)
Subaru WRX, 4-door sedan (with optional front crash prevention)
Toyota Corolla, 4-door hatchback
Toyota Corolla, 4-door sedan

Midsize cars
Honda Accord, 4-door sedan
Hyundai Sonata, 4-door sedan
Nissan Altima, 4-door sedan (with optional front crash prevention)

Midsize luxury cars
BMW 3 series, 4-door sedan
Volvo S60, 4-door

Large cars
Kia Stinger, 4-door hatchback (with optional front crash prevention)

Large luxury cars
Audi A7, 4-door hatchback

Small SUVs
Chevrolet Equinox, 4-door
Ford Escape, 4-door
Honda CR-V, 4-door
Hyundai Kona, 4-door (with optional front crash prevention)
Hyundai Tucson, 4-door (with optional front crash prevention)
Kia Sportage, 4-door
Lexus UX, 4-door
Lincoln Corsair, 4-door
Toyota RAV4, 4-door
Volvo XC40, 4-door

Midsize SUVs
Ford Edge, 4-door
Hyundai Palisade, 4-door
Hyundai Santa Fe, 4-door
Kia Sorento, 4-door (with optional front crash prevention)
Kia Telluride, 4-door
Mazda CX-9, 4-door (with optional front crash prevention)
Subaru Ascent, 4-door
Volkswagen Tiguan, 4-door

Midsize luxury SUVs
Lexus RX, 4-door

Large SUVs
Audi Q8, 4-door

 

For further information about these vehicles, visit iihs.org.

 

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