10 2016 Vehicles With IIHS Top Safety Ratings Source:

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), one of the top vehicle safety rating agencies in the United States, recently came out with its “Top Safety Pick” awards for 2016 model cars, trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles. As always, the picks have generated some heated debate in cyberspace and across social media platforms. But for people who factor in safety as a priority when choosing a vehicle to buy, the IIHS ratings are like scripture. Here is a list of the 2016 model vehicles that the IIHS has rated as among the safest to drive.

10. Kia Optima

It’s not a particularly flashy car or known for its speed and torque, but the Kia Optima has earned top grades for safety and reliability. Not only did the vehicle score well on IIHS’s various crash tests, but it has been lauded for its optional front crash prevention system that is industry leading and ahead of the automotive pack. “The new model’s ratings are an improvement over the 2015 Optima, which earned only an acceptable rating,” said the IIHS in awarding the 2016 Optima its highest safety accolade. The redesigned 2016 Kia Optima also features a forward collision warning system that is state-of-the-art and meets the criteria outlined by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Source:

9. Mini Cooper

People who are in the market for a compact car should consider the 2016 Mini Cooper, which has earned the IIHS’s top award for overall safety. In praising the newest model of the Mini Cooper, the IIHS noted that the current model year of the vehicle has dramatically improved the side curtain airbags that increase the overall protection for people seated in the rear of the car. This improvement came after the 2014 Mini Cooper failed a government mandated side test, resulting in a recall of that model year vehicle. The IIHS also noted that the 2016 Mini Cooper avoided a collision in three out of five runs at 12 miles per hour, and at 25 miles per hour its impact speed was cut by an average of seven miles per hour. The 2016 Mini Cooper also has an advanced forward collision warning system built-in. Source:

8. Audi Q7

Audi isn’t known for its sport utility vehicles (SUVs), but the redesigned Q7 SUV earned high praise from the IIHS. The latest model year Q7 is distinguished by front and side air bags throughout the vehicle, which make it extremely safe during a crash. The IIHS also noted that it “doesn’t routinely test large SUVs, and the Q7 is the first to be put through the challenging front crash test. The Q7 was tested because Audi nominated it for Top Safety Pick and paid for the vehicles used.” Audi is clearly banking on the Q7 to help the company be competitive in the SUV space, and having achieved the highest safety rating from the IIHS will certainly help that goal. Motorists who are in the market for a large SUV that comfortably seats seven people should definitely consider the Audi Q7. Source:

7. Toyota Highlander

Another SUV to make the IIHS safety grade is the Toyota Highlander. The 2016 model earned a Top Safety Pick, as did the 2015 Toyota Highlander. However, the IIHS noted in its review of the 2016 Highlander that Toyota made several structural modifications to the current model that improved its overall safety rating and reliability. “During the test of the 2016 Highlander, the dummy’s movement was better controlled than in the test of the earlier model,” stated the IIHS. The 2016 Toyota Highlander earned a superior safety rating over previous models of the midsized SUV, and the IIHS said that the 2016 model of this vehicle improved its score across various safety tests. The Toyota Highlander comes in versions that seat either seven or eight people. Source:

6. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a tried and true family car that has been a top selling vehicle in the U.S. and Canada for more than 25 years. The 2016 Civic was redesigned by Honda and the IIHS praised the redesign as helping to boost the car’s safety. The IIHS noted that the criteria used to achieve their Top Safety Pick designation was tightened for the 2016 model cars, but that the Honda Civic passed with flying colors—reaching the highest rating across its crash tests. For people who have long driven Honda vehicles and put their trust in the Civic four-door family car, this is welcome news and a strong reason to keep driving this particular brand of vehicle. Source:

5. Hyundai Sonata

Another stalwart car in terms of safety and reliability is the Hyundai Sonata. And the 2016 model has achieved the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation in the midsized car category owing to its front crash prevention system and reliable air bags. However, the IIHS did issue a qualifier on the 2016 Sonata, stating that: “In the case of the Sonata, the improvements were made after production for the 2016 model year had already begun. The award only applies to Sonatas built after October. Consumers can find a vehicle’s manufacture date on the certification label typically located on or near the driver door.” Still, if safety is a concern, the Hyundai Sonata is a vehicle people can trust in the event of a collision or crash. Source:

4. Lexus RX

In terms of midsized luxury sport utility vehicles, the Lexus RX takes top prize for safety. In fact, during crash tests the Lexus RX managed to avoid collisions altogether when traveling at 12 and 25 miles per hour, respectively. And the collision warning system on the Lexus RX was found to be superior to most other vehicles in the same class. The roof strength on the Lexus RX, as well as the durability of the seats and head restraints and their ability to withstand a crash were also praised by the IIHS. Other safety features on the Lexus RX include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability controls, side airbags and a rollover sensor. Source:

3. Nissan Altima

The midsize Nissan Altima received the Top Safety Pick designation from IIHS for both the 2015 and 2016 models. However, when it comes to the 2016 Altima, the IIHS noted that the car “…avoided a collision at 12 miles per hour, while in the 25 mile per hour test its impact speed was cut by 10 miles per hour.” The Altima also received a superior score for its front crash prevention system, and is equipped with both front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags that provide a higher level of protection than many other vehicles of a similar size. Protection during side collisions was also superior in the Nissan Altima, proving that this car’s reputation for safety over the years has been well-deserved. No wonder the Altima has been the auto manufacturer’s flagship vehicle for nearly two decades. Source:

2. Volvo V60

Swedish automotive giant Volvo continues to impress with its V60 luxury wagon. This stylish vehicle earned the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick award after performing well across the board in crash tests. The 2016 model comes equipped with all the latest safety features one would expect in a modern Volvo, including anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, electronic stability control and a full complement of airbags. However, the Volvo V60 also boasts a rollover sensor that deploys side curtain airbags in the event of an impending crash and rollover. The child seat anchors in the Volvo V60 were also cited for their ease of use, and the halogen headlights gave off great light at night. All and all, the Volvo V60 has proven itself to be a safe choice for parents in the market for a wagon that can protect their children. Source:

1. Honda Odyssey

Not many 2016 model minivans received an IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. The 2016 Kia Sedona was the only other vehicle in this class to receive the award. The Honda Odyssey was singled out for its durability and resilience when put through a rigorous battery of crash tests. The only knock on the Honda Odyssey is with its front crash prevention system, which received a “basic” designation. However, the Odyssey was praised for providing superior safety to occupants in the back of the vehicle, as well as for its roof strength and ability to absorb a side collision. Overall, the Honda Odyssey remains top of its class in the minivan sector and offers not only a great driving experience and comfort for the whole family, but also the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the vehicle is safe and able to withstand any collisions or crashes. Source:
Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.