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People who are looking for a new small SUV often have a list of priorities: comfort, style, and safety are generally high. For families with kids, safety is generally at the top of the list. These SUVs are so close to being the safest that you can buy, that they just might be tempting. And some of them have trim levels that be safe enough to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award. Still, others have one glaring problem that you just might not want to overlook. Here are the 2022 SUVs that are almost the safest you can buy.

Front angle view of blue 2022 Honda CR-V
2022 Honda CR-V | Honda

The 2022 Honda CR-V is a small SUV that just misses the best safety mark

The 2022 Honda CR-V is a very safe SUV – but it isn’t quite the safest small 2022 SUV that you can buy. Although the CR-V does earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, it misses the Top Safety Pick+ award. That’s because of its headlights. One of the criteria required to earn the Top Safety Pick award is that an SUV must have acceptable or good headlights available. Unfortunately, the Honda CR-V headlights are just marginal for four trim levels: the LX, EX, EX-L, and Special Edition.

The 2022 Kia Sportage has poor headlights

Headlights are a common reason why an SUV misses the Top Safety Pick+ award, and that’s the case for the 2022 Kia Sportage. With headlight ratings of acceptable and poor, the Sportage’s headlights certainly leave something to be desired. That’s too bad, because most of the Sportage’s other safety ratings are good, with the exception of the updated side test. Although that received a marginal rating, it doesn’t count for the IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards until 2023.

The 2022 Lexus UX is a luxury SUV that isn’t quite the safest

Want something super nice and super safe? The 2022 Lexus UX is almost that. Its Top Safety Pick award is admirable and may be good enough to convince you to buy it. Yet like the CR-V and Sportage, the UX’s headlights keep it from being a Top Safety Pick+. While there are many variations of the Lexus UX that have good headlights, there are also many that have poor ratings. If you want a UX, you’ll want to make sure you buy a trim level with good headlights.

The 2022 Lincoln Corsair has good headlights available – but that isn’t enough

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the thing keeping the 2022 Lincoln Corsair from having the best safety award is its headlights. The Lincoln Corsair has good crash test ratings, mostly superior safety systems, and yet its headlights range from just acceptable to poor. Unlike the 2022 Lexus UX, there’s no option to buy a Lincoln Corsair with good headlights, and so this might be one luxury SUV that you want to skip.

If you want one of the safest 2022 SUVs that you can buy, you just might want to overlook these SUVs and pick something with a Top Safety Pick+ award. You don’t have to though – most of these SUVs are just shy of the Top Safety Pick+ award because of the headlights available. Choose a trim level with good headlights, and you just might be happy with what you buy.


This Under-the-Radar 2022 SUV Is One of the Safest