Only 1 Midsize Luxury Car Made the IIHS 2023 Top Safety Pick List
The IIHS, or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is one of the premier organizations when it comes to car safety. The site recently published its list of the winners of its Top Safety Pick award for the 2023 model year, and surprisingly, only one midsize luxury sedan made it in. Here’s a look at the only midsize luxury sedan that won the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award for the 2023 model year.
The differences between the Top Safety Pick and the Top Safety Pick+ awards
The primary way that the IIHS decides which cars win an award is by putting them through a variety of crash tests. The cars are then judged on a four-point scale and can get a rating of poor, marginal, acceptable, or good. The IIHS also tests out other safety features on a car, including its headlights and smart safety features.
The smart safety features have a different scale, though, and the ratings range from basic to advanced to superior. To get a Top Safety Pick award, the car must earn a “good” rating on all of its front crash tests. It must also get an “acceptable” rating or better on the organization’s updated side crash test, as well as for its headlights. The daytime front pedestrian crash prevention system must also get an “advanced” rating or better.
The Top Safety Pick+ award is similar, but there’s less leeway. The car must get a “good” rating on the updated side crash test, and its nighttime front pedestrian crash prevention system must also get an “advanced” rating or better.
The 2023 Lexus ES is the only midsize luxury car to win an award
Despite the popular and competitive midsize luxury sedan segment, the Lexus ES is the only car in the segment to make a list. It won a Top Safety Pick award and barely fell short of winning the Top Safety Pick+ award. Its nighttime front pedestrian crash prevention system scored better than its daytime system, but the luxury car fell short in terms of the updated side crash test.
The Lexus sedan got a “good” rating on the original version of the side crash test, but it only got an “acceptable” rating on the updated version. In particular, the organization gave the ES an “acceptable” rating for its structure and safety cage, and it got a few “good” ratings in some of the injury subcategories. However, it also called a “marginal” rating on the rear passenger pelvis injury subcategory, which helped sink its overall score.
Lexus makes many safe cars
The ES was the only midsize luxury sedan to win any award, and it has another unique distinction as it’s the only other Lexus car to not get the Top Safety Pick+ award. Lexus cars are well-known for their safety, so it’s no surprise that four other Lexus vehicles made the list. They were all SUVs, though, including the UX, which competes in the small luxury SUV segment.
The other models that won an award were the NX, the NX Plug-in Hybrid, and the RX, and they’re all in the midsize luxury SUV segment. Overall, all four Japanese luxury SUVs received similar scores on their tests. They all got “good” ratings across the board, which was also true in most subcategories. Plus, all four received “superior” ratings on their daytime and nighttime front pedestrian crash prevention systems.