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The Toyota Corolla might not be the most exciting little car in the world, but it brings a lot to the table for the price. As proof that the Corolla is only getting better with time, this compact sedan recently nabbed a Top Safety Pick Plus rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the highest honor bestowed by the IIHS, and it’s actually a pretty big deal.

What does it take to get the Top Safety Pick Plus designation?

It’s harder than you might think for a car to snag a Top Safety Pick rating and even harder to score the coveted Top Safety Pick Plus award. It’s impressive that both the 2022 Corolla four- and five-door models were awarded this designation. 

What does the IIHS require for a car to be named a top safety pick? First, and most importantly, the Toyota Corolla had to achieve a “Good” score in six crash tests: 

  • driver-side small overlap
  • passenger-side small overlap front
  • moderate overlap front
  • original side
  • roof strength
  • head restraint and seat tests

Next, the Corolla had to offer an available front crash prevention system that’s rated either “Advanced” or “Superior”. Check. Both the Corolla sedan and hatchback received “Superior” ratings. 

In addition, the Toyota Corolla needed headlights that were rated “Good” or “Acceptable” to be available on all trims in the lineup. Check. Corolla cars built before November 2021 had non-adaptive headlights that were only rated “Marginal,” but 2022 and newer Corolla cars offer improved LED curving lights.

Lineup of 2022 Toyota Corolla cars in a variety of body styles; the Corolla recently won Top Safety Pick Plus
2022 Toyota Corolla lineup | Toyota

2022 Toyota Corolla safety and driver-assistance features

The Corolla’s standard Toyota Safety Sense drove the Corolla’s success in being named a Top Safety Pick Plus—the “Superior” front crash prevention system and automatic high beams included in Safety Sense helped this compact sedan make the grade

Other 2022 Corolla safety and driver-assistance features include lane keep assist, road sign assist, adaptive cruise control, and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert. 

All-black interior of a 2022 Toyota Corolla, with large infotainment screen
2022 Toyota Corolla interior | Toyota

How is the IIHS Top Safety Pick different from the Top Safety Pick Plus?

The differences between a Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ come down to headlights. Both TSP and TSP+ cars need to meet all the other criteria, including crashworthiness and safety/driver-assistance systems. The main difference comes down to the availability of “Good” or “Acceptable” headlights on all models in the lineup, and the 2022 Toyota Corolla nails it. 

What other Toyota models received IIHS safety awards? provided a rundown of all 2022 Toyota vehicles that met IIHS standards and won awards this year. Other Toyota cars and SUVs with an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus rating include:

  • 2022 Camry sedan
  • 2022 Highlander SUV
  • 2022 Sienna minivan

Toyota cars and SUVs with an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating include:

  • 2022 Avalon sedan
  • 2022 C-HR crossover
  • 2022 Venza crossover 

Toyota has long had a reputation for being a solid brand that produces reliable and safe cars. This year’s picks for IIHS Top Safety only strengthen that reputation.


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