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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Tests and Awards

IIHS singles out 64 cars and SUVs as the safest of 2020

There’s a new emphasis on protecting pedestrians and occupants this year

Cars on U.S. highways are getting safer, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is singling out 64 models for its 2020 top safety honors.

This year, vehicles must meet new criteria to qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards. They must have a “good” rating in each of IHSS’ six crashworthiness evaluations, and there’s also a new emphasis on protecting pedestrians in addition to vehicle occupants.

The “plus” is awarded to models that come exclus...

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    IIHS names redesigned Mazda CX-5 a top award winner

    Headlights made the difference

    The redesigned Mazda CX-5 is the latest vehicle to win the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest safety award -- TOP SAFETY PICK+.

    The 2017 model, like its 2016 predecessor, has good ratings in all five of the Institute's crashworthiness tests: small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.

    The small SUV's standard front crash prevention earned an advanced rating, while an optional, higher-speed system was rated superior. Both avoided a collision in the 12 mph IIHS track test, and the optional system avoided a collision at 25 mph.

    The CX-5's Grand Touring and Sport trim lines have headlights that earned an acceptable rating. The former trim includes high beam assist, a feature that automatically switches between high beams and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles.

    To qualify for the 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK award, a vehicle must have good crashworthiness ratings across the board and an available front crash prevention rating that earns an advanced or superior rating.

    The "plus" is awarded to vehicles that also have good or acceptable headlights.

    The redesigned Mazda CX-5 is the latest vehicle to win the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest safety award -- TOP SAFETY PICK+.The...
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    Mazda CX-9 captures top safety rating in IIHS testing

    The latest test results were superior to earlier findings

    The midsize 2017 Mazda CX-9 SUV has captured the top award offered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

    Across-the-board good crashworthiness ratings, a superior-rated front crash prevention system and acceptable-rated headlights made the difference from tests performed on the 2015 model.

    A vehicle must have good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests in order to earn the 2017 "Top Safety Pick+" award.

    Available advanced or superior front crash prevention and headlights that earn an acceptable or good rating are required as well.

    A new design turns the tables

    The CX-9 was redesigned for the 2016 model year. Beginning with 2017 models built after November 2016, Mazda modified the deployment pattern of the side curtain airbags to improve protection in front and side crashes.

    The 2015 model of the CX-9 rated poor for protection in small overlap front crashes, as the structure was seriously compromised and the side airbag didn't deploy.

    It also came up short for roof strength, which is important for protecting occupants in a rollover crash, and for head restraints, which help prevent neck injuries in a rear crash. The SUV earned only marginal ratings in those tests.

    The 2017 CX-9 also offers optional front crash prevention that earns a superior rating. In IIHS track tests at 12 and 25 mph, it avoided collisions.

    The system also includes Forward Collision Warning that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria.

    The superior-rated front crash prevention comes on the CX-9's Grand Touring and Signature trims, which also are equipped with the CX-9's best available headlights, which are rated acceptable. Other trim levels come with marginal headlights.

    The midsize 2017 Mazda CX-9 SUV has captured the top award offered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)Across-the-board good crashworth...
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    Toyota Highlander earns top IIHS award

    The vehicle's front crash prevention system earned a superior rating

    A superior-rated front crash prevention system and acceptable-rated headlights have earned the 2017 Toyota Highlander the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) top award.

    Unlike most TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners, which only meet the front crash prevention and headlight criteria when they are equipped with optional features, the Highlander qualifies for the award with standard equipment.

    In IIHS track tests of the 2017 system, the midsize SUV avoided a collision in the 12 mph test. In the 25 mph test, it avoided a collision in 4 out of 5 runs and slowed 21 mph the fifth time.

    The new standard front crash prevention system also includes a forward collision warning component that meets criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five IIHS crashworthiness tests -- small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints -- as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.

    A superior-rated front crash prevention system and acceptable-rated headlights have earned the 2017 Toyota Highlander the Insurance Institute for Highway S...
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    IIHS: Most child booster seats do a fine job

    That doesn't mean there aren't problems, though

    Child seat manufacturers have finally gotten the hang of it.

    Out of 53 new models evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, (IIHS) 48 earn the top rating of BEST BET. That means they're likely to provide good belt fit for a 4 to 8 year-old in almost any car, minivan, or SUV.

    By comparison, when the IIHS first started rating boosters in 2008, only a quarter of those evaluated earned the BEST BET designation.

    Problems persist

    However, several seats that don’t do their job and are rated Not Recommended can still be found on store shelves. Among them are two brand new models from Dorel Juvenile.

    “Parents looking for a safe option for kids who have outgrown seats with built-in harnesses have more choices than ever,” said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Jessica Jermakian. “Unfortunately, we can’t declare total victory because manufacturers continue to sell subpar boosters.”

    Of the 53 new seats, the Cosco Easy Elite and the Cosco Highback 2-in-1 DX -- both made by Dorel -- are rated Not Recommended. Three others, the Britax Parkway SGL in backless mode, the Lil Fan Club Seat 2-in-1 in highback mode, and the Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 are rated Check Fit, meaning they may work for some children in some vehicles. The remaining new seats are BEST BETs.

    All told, there are 118 BEST BETs among currently available boosters, including old models. Additionally, there are nine GOOD BETs (seats that provide acceptable belt fit in most vehicles), 27 Check Fit, and five Not Recommended.

    A range of prices

    Top-rated boosters are available in all different price ranges. Of the boosters introduced this year, the most affordable is the Harmony Big Boost Deluxe, available at Walmart for less than $25.

    The most expensive is the $330 Graco 4Ever All-in-1 with Safety Surround, a rear-facing infant seat that converts first to a forward-facing child restraint and then to a booster as the child grows.

    Complete ratings may be found at www.iihs.org/.

    Child seat manufacturers have finally gotten the hang of it.Out of 53 new models evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, (IIHS) 48 ear...
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    An IIHS top safety award for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class

    The midsize luxury car aced the battery of tests

    And the winner is...

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) has bestowed its TOP SAFETY PICK+ award on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

    The award came as the midsize luxury car earned good ratings in all five of the Institute's crashworthiness evaluations -- small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints.

    The vehicle also has a standard front crash prevention system that earns an advanced rating. An additional, optional system boosts the car's front crash prevention rating to superior.

    The C-Class was redesigned for 2015, but IIHS only recently evaluated it for crashworthiness. The car's structure held up well in the challenging small overlap test with maximum intrusion into the occupant compartment of just 4 inches. The earlier generation of the C-Class had intrusion of 20 inches at the footrest and earned a marginal rating.

    The roof strength test also yielded notable results. The C-Class was found to have a strength-to-weight ratio of 7, among the highest ever registered. A ratio of 4 or higher is required for a good rating. Roof strength is important for protection in a rollover crash.

    To qualify for 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five IIHS crashworthiness tests and an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

    And the winner is... The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) has bestowed its TOP SAFETY PICK+ award on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Th...
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