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2021 IIHS: Volvo Leads the Way

This year, 106 vehicles are included in the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKS 2021 list; a major increase over the 69 models in 2020. PHOTO IIHS
The annual IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKS awards, published at the end of April, provide useful but surprising insight. Among the approximately 920 2021 models available to the North American market – cars, SUVs, vans, pickups and hybrids – only a handful are still sweeping IIHS awards. Of the 106 winners, Volvo stands out with 15 versions of its 10 models, followed by: Toyota 9, Subaru 9, Hyundai 8, Kia 7, Mazda 7 and Honda 6, all ranked in one or another category. In terms of numbers, the so-called losers in this list of winners are vans – 2 – and pick-up trucks – 1, except that this is the first time that models in these categories have stood out in this competition for the safest vehicles of the last batch.

Volvo is the clear winner, with 15 versions of its models among the 2021 IIHS winners. PHOTO IIHS

A modernized past
Upon analysis, it is surprising that the IIHS criteria include not only the effectiveness of the standard and optional automatic obstacle and pedestrian braking systems but also the less than innovative equipment. Although directional headlights and automatic low beam systems may seem like a novelty to new generations and should be promoted as the organization does, the same cannot be said for people who have driven older cars. It would seem that the manufacturers are still unaware that Citroën’s 1967 DS, whose ground clearance could be adjusted at will, already had headlights that followed the steering angle, and that automated high beams have existed for ages.
Unsuitable headlights
Many people will be amazed to discover that, among these 2021 champions, some twenty models included in the TOP SAFETY PICKS list are equipped with halogen headlights, whereas in the TOP SAFETY PICKS + category there are only LED headlights. However, it should not be concluded that LED headlights are the safer choice. They are only satisfactory in about sixty cases, mediocre in about twenty, and downright poor in about fifteen. As many of the winning manufacturers have equipped their 2021 models with 3, 4 and even 5 sets of headlights (sometimes ranging from the best to the worst), it is particularly advisable to be familiar with their features before making any vehicle purchase.
Aiming for the top end?
In short, as magical as the letters LED seem, it’s important to take a closer look. Advanced driver-assistance systems don’t need lighting to warn of impending danger or to trigger emergency braking. In any case, it is reassuring in all these respects to rely on the annual IIHS rankings, whose most rigorous test results allow one to make an informed choice, to bet on the top of the range if necessary. Only models that meet the 6 IIHS crash tests are eligible for the TOP SAFETY PICKS awards.
In two tables, here is an exclusive summary of what makes each 2021 IIHS award-winning model so special, as well as the associated statistics by category.

Top Safety Pick + 

F1 FCP: Vehicle to Obstacle* F2 FCP: Vehicle to Pedestrian*
61 36
*     0 2
24
* 10
1
Lighting
Headlight 1 Directional Headlight 2 Automatic – Without Equipment
39 97 3
Curved lighting is measured at a lateral range of 150 m and 250 m.
Brightness – Up to 4 versions per model
Good Acceptable Marginal Poor
40 39 5 3
Low-beamMaximum range in metres straight ahead High-beam: Maximum range in metres straight ahead

The Hyundai Palisade SUV is one of the vehicles with a perfect IIHS record for all practical purposes. PHOTO IIHS

SAFETY PICKS + 2021 F1 F2 Brightness A B C D Lighting 1 – 2 Low-Beam /m High-Beam /m
ACURA RDX SUV + 2 D114 D169
ACURA TLX / Sedan + 2 D 89 D150
AUDI A6 Allroad / Family + 2 D100 D149
FORD Bronco SUV + 2 D 93 D159
GENESIS G90 / Sedan + 2 D127 D195
HONDA Insight / Sedan + 2 D107 D166
HYUNDAI Nexo SUV + 2 D131 D165
HYUNDAI Palisade SUV + 2 D110 D173
NISSAN Murano SUV + 2 D 91 D180
NISSAN Rogue SUV + 2 D121 D172
SUBARU Ascent SUV + 1-2 D109 D149
SUBARU Crosstrek Hybrid + 1-2 D 89 D157
SUBARU Forester SUV + 2 D128 D152
SUBARU Legacy / Sedan + 1-2 D135 D155
SUBARU Outback / Family + 1-2 D115 D159
VOLVO S60 / Sedan + 1-2 D 87 D157
VOLVO S60 Recharge / Sedan + 1-2 D 87 D157
VOLVO V60 / Family + 1-2 D 87 D157
VOLVO V60 Cross Country + 1-2 D 77 D153
VOLVO V60 Recharge / Family + 1-2 D 87 D157
VOLVO XC40 Recharge SUV + 1-2 D 98 D169
VOLVO XC40 SUV + 1-2 D 98 D169
GENESIS G70 / Sedan + 1-2 2 D117 D121 D150 D162
LEXUS NX SUV + 1-2 2 D130 D133 D145 D157
MAZDA CX-9 SUV + 1-2 2 D114 D120 D144 D147
TESLA 3 / Sedan + 2 2 D 93 D100 D160 D178
TOYOTA Sienna + 2 2 D108 D116 D159 D151
AUDI A6 / Sedan + 2 2 2 D 91 D100 D 78 D175 D149 D146
MAZDA CX-5 SUV + 1-2 2 2 D119 D119 D110 D140 D145 D148
MAZDA CX-30 SUV + 1-2 2 1-2 D128 D111 D136 D141 D136 D136
AUDI e-tron Sportback SUV + 2 2 D 82 D 82 D156 D154
AUDI e-tron SUV + 2 2 D 89 D 82 D156 D154
AUDI Q5 Sportback SUV + 2 2 D115 D 82 D163 D146
AUDI Q5 SUV + 2 2 D115 D 82 D163 D146
HONDA Accord / Sedan + 2 2 D110 D 96 D180 H155
LEXUS ES 350 / Sedan + 1-2 2 D119 D106 D142 D158
LEXUS IS / Sedan + 2 2 D141 D 85 D149 D154
MAZDA 3 / Sedan + 1-2 2 D 90 D103 D148 D132
MAZDA 3 / Hatchback + 1-2 2 D 90 D103 D148 D132
MAZDA 6 / Sedan + 1-2 2 D110 D106 D158 D154
MERCEDES GLE SUV + * 1-2 – D 86 D 80 D155 D155
TOYOTA Highlander SUV + 1-2 2 D106 D122 D153 D154
TOYOTA Camry / Sedan + 1-2 2 2 D103 D124 D 130 D147 D158 D155
MERCEDES E / Sedan + 1-2 2 – 2 – D106 D 95 D 95 D 72 D 72 D163 D169 D169 D148 D148
KIA K5 / Sedan + * 2 2 2 2 D 96 D 95 D 75 D 49 D184 D143 D141 D157
GENESIS GV80 SUV + 2 D 57 D156
HONDA Odyssey + 2 D 93 D142
MAZDA CX-3 SUV + 1-2 D 80 D154
NISSAN Maxima / Sedan + 1-2 D 73 D167
VOLVO V90 Cross Country + 1-2 D 70 D148
VOLVO XC60 Recharge SUV + 1-2 D 72 D158
VOLVO XC60 SUV + 1-2 D 72 D158
VOLVO XC90 Recharge SUV + 1-2 D 84 D152
VOLVO XC90 SUV + 1-2 D 84 D152
AUDI A7 / Hatchback + 2 2 D 96 D 81 D166 D155
CADILLAC XT6 SUV + 2 2 D 95 D 98 D153 D114
FORD Explorer SUV + * 1-2 2 D 78 D 97 D135 D178
NISSAN Altima / Sedan + 2 2 D123 H 84 D161 H155
VOLVO S90 / Sedan + 1-2 1-2 D 72 D 90 D144 D135
VOLVO S90 Recharge / Sedan + 1-2 1-2 D 72 D 90 D144 D135
VOLVO V90 / Family + 1-2 1-2 D 72 D 90 D145 D135

Top Safety Pick 2021

F1 FCP: Vehicle to Obstacle* F2 FCP: Vehicle to Pedestrian*
35 22
*     10 9
8
* 12
1
Lighting
Headlight 1 Directional Headlight 2 Automatic – Without Equipment
24 94 18
Curved lighting is measured at a lateral range of 150 m and 250 m.
Brightness – Up to 4 versions per model
Good Acceptable Mediocre Poor
36 22 25 31
Low-beamMaximum range in metres straight ahead High-beam: Maximum range in metres straight ahead

The Kia Soul, which has optional obstacle and pedestrian detection systems, has good directional headlights and automatic low beams. PHOTO IIHS

TOP SAFETY PICK 2021 F1 F2 Brightness A B C D Headlight 1 – 2 Low-beam /m High-beam /m
Kia Soul + 2 2 2 – D 89 D 84 D 68 D 68 D148 D147 D146 D146
HYUNDAI Santa Fe SUV 2 2 2 2 D 94 D103 D 73 D 92 D183 D175 D139 D120
HYUNDAI Elantra / Sedan * 2 2 2 D104 D110 D108 D177 D178 D130
HYUNDAI Kona SUV * * – 2 – D136 D136 H 67 D151 D151 H157
HYUNDAI Tucson SUV * 2 – – D104 D104 H 99 D178 D178 H166
AUDI A4 / Sedan 2 2 2 D 84 D 81 D 81 D173 D157 D111
AUDI A5 / Sedan 2 2 2 D106 D105 D 84 D149 D143 D122
HONDA CR-V SUV 2 2 2 D 95 D100 H 91 D168 D144 H156
MERCEDES C / Sedan * 2 – 1-2 D102 D102 D117 D179 D179 D161
KIA Stinger / Hatchback * * 2 1-2 – D 97 D 70 H 72 D169 D150 H104
SUBARU Impreza WRX / Sedan * * 1-2 1 – D 99 D 99 H 84 D129 D129 H162
FORD Mustang Mach-E SUV 2 2 D 87 D 87 D171 D150
HYUNDAI Sonata / Sedan 2 2 D118 D 93 D191 D171
LINCOLN Aviator SUV * 1-2 2 D101 D 71 D158 D146
SUBARU Impreza / Sedan * * 1-2 – D141 H 77 D156 H155
SUBARU Impreza / Family * * 1-2 – D141 H 77 D156 H155
RAM 1500 Crew cab * * 1-2 – 2 – D 89 H 84 D 68 D 68 D148 H147 D146 D146
BMW 3 / Sedan * 1-2 1-2 2 D 91 D 92 D 76 D173 D136 D119
TOYOTA RAV4 SUV 1-2 2 2 D114 D107 D112 D147 D149 D121
HONDA Civic / Hatchback 2 2 D118 H 88 D174 H164
HONDA Civic / Berline 2 2 D118 H 88 D174 H164
KIA Forte / Sedan * 2 – D132 H 96 D138 H175
KIA Sorento SUV * 2 2 D 95 D 64 D153 D119
LEXUS UX SUV 1-2 2 D104 D143 D150 D158
MERCEDES GLC SUV * * 1-2 – D 85 D 72 D148 D149
SUBARU Crosstrek / Family * * 1-2 – D 89 H 82 D157 H157
TOYOTA C-HR SUV 1-2 2 D 98 D 63 D141 D112
TOYOTA RAV4 Prime SUV 1-2 2 D114 D112 D147 D121
VW Arteon / Hatchback 1-2 – D112 D 75 D153 D 94
VW Tiguan SUV 1-2 – D108 H 73 D143 H157
KIA Seltos SUV * * 2 2 2 – D101 H 86 D 55 H 86 D152 H138 D129 H138
LEXUS RX SUV 2 2 1-2 1-2 D 88 D115 D124 D123 D141 D152 D140 D142
FORD Escape SUV 2 2 D105 H 77 D171 H174
HYUNDAI Veloster / Hatchback * 2 – D107 H 79 H160 H148
HYUNDAI Venue SUV 2 2 D164 H125 D146 H138
TOYOTA Corolla / Sedan 1-2 2 D 88 D 77 D130 D137
TOYOTA Venza SUV 2 2 D 82 D 83 D139 D141
CHEVROLET Equinox SUV 2 2 2 X 87 D 97 H118 X145 D109 H145
TOYOTA Corolla / 4-door 1-2 2 2 D 88 D 82 D 77 D130 D155 D137
AUDI Q8 SUV 2 2 D 85 D 90 D156 D147
FORD Edge SUV * 1-2 2 D 99 D101 D135 D113
KIA Sportage SUV * 2 2 D124 D105 D136 D117
KIA Telluride SUV 2 – D100 D 91 D124 D129
LINCOLN Corsair SUV * 1-2 2 D144 D120 D204 D155
NISSAN Sentra / Sedan 2 2 2 D108 D 52 D 42 D174 D128 D132

Source: IIHS.org
Categories : Editorial, Fleet
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