More than one hundred 2022 model year vehicles have been recognized for their safety benefits in a newly released ranking.
Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, has the most 2022 awards overall for a total of 21. Volkswagen Group, which includes the Volkswagen and Audi brands, received 11 awards. Volvo earned 10 awards.
Those are the highlights of a new evaluation of 2022 models designed to give consumers an efficient way to identify vehicles with the best level of safety available. The annual list was released on Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit financed by the insurance industry.
“We’re excited to see more vehicles on this list in 2022,” David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute, said in a statement. “Our awards make it easy for car buyers to find models that will protect them in a crash and increase the odds they’ll never be in one.”
The high number of cars that ranked well in the evaluations is an indication that automakers are “committed to the same goal,” Harkey added. This year, he said, manufacturers improved headlight offerings and made vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to pedestrian front crash prevention standard on more models.
This year 65 models were recognized in the first-tier awards category called Top Safety Pick+, the institute’s highest designation for providing the most advanced level of crash protection.
Another 36 models earned the second tier, Top Safety Pick.
Both Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick awards identify the safest choices within a number of groupings, like size, luxury, SUVs, etc. (As a rule of thumb, larger, heavier vehicles generally afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones.)
Vehicles in both award categories were evaluated based on a variety of criteria that assessed crash worthiness in a series of tests, including for roof strength and head restraint capability, front crash prevention (including both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle -to-pedestrian) and headlight performance.
Four minivans and and four pickup trucks qualified for awards this year. Winners include the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Carnival in the minivan category, and the Ram 1500 crew cab, Ford F-150 extended cab and crew cab and the Hyundai Santa Cruz in the pickup truck group.
“Manufacturers deserve congratulations for the steady improvements they’ve made since we last updated our award requirements, but with U.S. traffic fatalities expected to exceed 40,000 people in 2021, it’s no time for anybody to rest on their laurels,” Harkey added. “A key reason vehicles have continued to get safer over the more than 25 years since the Institute began our ratings program is that we have never shied away from raising the bar.”
Next year, the institute plans to add two new evaluations: a new crash test and an assessment of nighttime pedestrian automatic emergency braking.