Only 1 Volkswagen Model Made the IIHS 2023 Top Safety Pick List
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognizes the best vehicle choices for safety by awarding them the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ ratings. To identify the safest vehicles, the IIHS first categorizes all new vehicles by size, dividing them into groups like small cars, midsize cars, minivans, and midsize SUVs. It then performs crash tests and other car safety evaluations to identify the safest vehicles in each category.
This year, only one Volkswagen model made the IIHS 2023 top safety pick list—the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 midsize SUV. Let’s look at the IIHS awards and the ID. 4’s features, highlighting why it earned its Tops Safety Pick+ rating.
What is the Top Safety Pick list?
According to U.S. News, the Top Safety Picks list is a recognition program the IIHS runs annually to identify and recognize the safest cars on the road. The IIHS tests various aspects of safety, such as headlights, vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, etc., and gives the top-performing cars a Top Safety Pick or a Top Safety Pick+ award.
Top Safety Pick (TSP) and Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) awards
Vehicles are rated Poor, Marginal, Acceptable, or Good on each test based on their performance. To earn a TSP award, a vehicle must:
- Earn a rating of Good in the moderate overlap front and the driver- and passenger-side small overlap front tests.
- Earn a Superior or Advanced rating for the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test.
- Earn a headlight performance score of Good or Acceptable with standard headlights.
- Earn a Good or Acceptable rating on the side test.
In 2023, only 48 new vehicles earned TSP awards compared to 101 in 2022 because of tougher requirements. TSP+ awards are even more stringent than TSP. To earn it, a vehicle must:
- Earn a rating of Good in the driver- and passenger-side small overlap and the moderate overlap front tests
- Earn a rating of Good on the side test
- Earn a rating of Good or Acceptable with standard headlights
- Earn an Advanced or Superior rating for daytime or nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention.
Of the 48 new vehicles that earned the IIHS TSP award for 2023, only 28 earned TSP+ honors.
These standards and criteria are periodically updated to become stricter and reflect technological advances and other changes. For example, the IIHS added a more challenging side impact test and required all trim levels to do well to pass the test. Previously, a car could pass the examination if only one trim level did well.
The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 is a Top Safety Pick+
The 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 was introduced in 2021 as the first all-electric Volkswagen SUV. It is offered in four trim levels. The ID.4 is about the same size as the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan but is more spacious and has a higher MSRP due to its electrified powertrain.
This midsize SUV has a spacious, well-appointed interior with comfortable seats and a relatively robust powertrain. It has several safety features that allow it to perform well in its safety tests, including the following:
- Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring
- Lane-keeping system
- Parking sensors
- Adaptive high-beams
- Traffic sign recognition system
- Forward collision mitigation
- Automated parking system
The IIHS awarded it the Top Safety Pick+ award in the midsize SUV category. So, if you’re looking for an electric midsize SUV, the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 offers you one of the best chances of avoiding a car crash and remaining protected if you’re ever in one. It provides much-needed peace of mind, making it one of the best choices for families with children.
Other winners in the IIHS category
Other TSP+ winners in the midsize SUV category include the 2023 Hyundai Palisade, 2023 Kia Telluride, 2023 Nissan Pathfinder, 2023 Subaru Ascent, and 2023 Toyota Highlander. TSP winners in the category were the 2023 Mazda CX-9 and the 2023 Ford Explorer. So, if you need a safe midsize SUV but don’t want a Volkswagen, you have plenty of options.