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The 2022 Kia Telluride and 2022 Hyundai Palisade are two of the most popular midsize SUVs around. That’s thanks to their style and versatility, with each SUV having three rows and loads of entertainment and safety features. Previously, the Telluride and Palisade were thought to also be two of the safest SUVs you could buy, though an updated side crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that maybe that’s not the case. However, there’s another three-row SUV that’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ – and it has a good side crash test, too: the 2022 Toyota Highlander.

Front view of Magnetic Gray Metallic 2022 Toyota Highlander
Magnetic Gray Metallic 2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The 2022 Kia Telluride safety scores aren’t perfect anymore

The 2022 Kia Telluride is one of the most popular three-row midsize SUVs on the market these days. It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick winner thanks to its impeccable crash test ratings, good headlights, and solid safety systems. Yet all is not well with the Telluride’s safety. The IIHS just updated its side crash test and the Telluride’s results are less-than-stellar.

The IIHS’ updated side test result for the 2022 Kia Telluride is just marginal. That’s the third-best ranking, behind good and acceptable. To make matters worse, the Telluride only has acceptable and poor headlights available, which is why it falls short of the Top Safety Pick+ award.

The 2022 Hyundai Palisade side crash test result is marginal

Like its mechanical twin the 2022 Kia Telluride, the 2022 Hyundai Palisade has a not-so-great updated side crash test result of marginal. In addition, its structure and safety cage within that category is just marginal, and the pelvis within the driver injury measures is poor. As far as rear passengers go, the torso result is acceptable. Everything else in the updated side crash test is good.

One of the biggest benefits of the 2022 Hyundai Palisade over the 2022 Kia Telluride is its headlights. The headlights in the Telluride are good, making this midsize SUV a Top Safety Pick+.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander is a Top Safety Pick+ with a good side crash test


You Might Want to Skip the #1 Midsize SUV and Look at #2 and #3 Instead

The best of these three popular SUVs is the 2022 Toyota Highlander. That’s because it’s a Top Safety Pick+ and it has good headlights. The Toyota Highlander has all good crash test ratings including both its original side crash test and the new side crash test. Within that category, only one subcategory has a less-than-good rating: the pelvis in the driver injury measures.

In addition, the 2022 Toyota Highlander has two headlights available. One has acceptable ratings, but the other has good ratings. This makes the Toyota Highlander a Top Safety Pick+ and the only of these three-row SUVs to be a Top Safety Pick+ and have a good updated side crash test result.

The IIHS will begin transitioning toward using the updated side crash test results to determine which vehicles are Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ award winnders. Until then, it’s a good idea to research any vehicle you’re considering buying to make sure that it’s as safe as possible.