IIHS releases its list of safest vehicles for 2021

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Tiger Woods’ Genesis SUV is on the list

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its list of the safest 2021 vehicles just a day after golf legend Tiger Woods survived a horrific highway crash in his Genesis GV80 SUV.

Hyundai Motor Group, which makes the Genesis -- as well as Hyundai and Kia -- drove off with 12 regular Top Safety Picks and five pluses, the most of any manufacturer. Woods is recuperating in a Los Angeles hospital with serious leg injuries while his SUV is a twisted pile of metal.

IIHS says its annual awards demonstrate that the cars and trucks on American roads are getting safer. This year, 41 vehicles earned Top Safety Pick designations, bringing the total number of 2021 award winners to 90, compared with 64 in February 2020.

“With these awards, we want to make it easy for consumers to find vehicles that provide good protection in crashes, sufficient lighting, and effective front crash protection,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “Manufacturers have stepped up to meet the challenge, and the list of great options has grown to an impressive size this year.”

To receive either award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests: driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints. 

Vehicles must also be available with front crash prevention that earns a superior or advanced rating in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. Finally, Top Safety Pick winners must be available with good or acceptable headlights.

Honda makes a strong showing

Besides Hyundai, Honda also made a strong showing. Six Honda models earned a Top Safety Pick rating or better with three -- Accord, Insight, and Odyssey -- achieving the coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating. 

In addition, the 2021 Accord, two Civic models, CR-V, Insight, and Odyssey each achieved a "Good" in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests. 

Two minivans, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, qualified this year for the Top Safety Pick+ award. A pickup truck, the Ram 1500 crew cab, is also a Top Safety Pick and is the only winner from Stellantis, the company created by the recent merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot. A year ago, there were no minivans or pickups in the safest categories.

IIHS noted that Mitsubishi failed to earn a single award so far and that General Motors recorded only two.

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