The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released its Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick winners for 2022. This was after rigorous testing to determine the crash test and crash prevention performance of various models. Vehicles that earned the highest car safety ratings include the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, and Volvo S60. But overall, Honda performed exceptionally in IIHS testing, resulting in five of its models winning Top Safety Pick+ awards. Let’s take a look.
How the IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ lists differ
As for the selection criteria for the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards, most are the same, especially regarding crash test performance. Cars should perform well enough to receive a “good” rating in various crash tests, including some that test how well the vehicle protects the driver and passengers during a crash.
The IIHS also insists cars perform exceptionally in frontal crash avoidance tests, which applies to vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-vehicle collision avoidance. Cars should earn an “advanced” or “superior” rating.
The main difference between the TSP and TSP+ boils down to how the vehicles perform in headlights testing. Those with excellent headlights offering optimal visibility on all trim levels appear on the Top Safety Pick+ list. On the other hand, those with great headlights offering optimal visibility on only some trim levels rank on the Top Safety Pick list.
That said, following the IIHS’ trend of improving car safety standards every few years, the nonprofit plans to make its testing more rigorous in 2023. Consequently, these criteria should change before the IIHS tests the next batch of new cars.
The 5 Honda models that won Top Safety Pick+ awards for 2022
Honda’s five models that earned Top Safety Pick+ honors occupy various categories. In the small-car class, the 2022 Honda Civic four-door hatchback, Civic four-door sedan, and Insight four-door sedan won awards.
For the most part, the test results for the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback and sedan were practically identical, with outstanding performance in all seven crash test metrics. That’s in addition to the headlights being rated “good” for all Civic trim levels. Last, the crash avoidance systems are also rated “superior.”
However, there were two minor issues in the lower leg/foot and the driver restraints and dummy kinematics where the passenger-side small overlap frontal crash test was concerned. But its injury-measures performance results were still good enough for both to be rated “acceptable.”
The 2022 Honda Insight performed even better than the Civic. This hybrid got “good” ratings in all tests but the pelvis/leg injury measures in the side crash test for the rear passenger. But the IIHS still rated the Insight’s performance in this area as “acceptable.”
The last two TSP+ models are the Honda Accord midsize sedan and Odyssey minivan. For the 2022 Accord, the single blemish in its test scores came from the headlights. Some of the lower trim levels received an “acceptable” rating, while their pricier alternatives received a “good” rating. That said, an “acceptable” rating is still good enough for cars to appear on the Top Safety Pick+ list.
As for the Odyssey, it had two minor issues. One was that the IIHS rated the headlights on all trim levels as “acceptable” instead of “good.” The other was in the small overlap frontal crash test, where the structure and safety cage for the passenger side was “acceptable” instead of “good.”
Why the 2022 Honda CR-V didn’t get the Top Safety Pick+ award
The 2022 Honda CR-V got great IIHS test scores for the most part. However, it had a less-than-stellar overall score for the side crash test. That was due to several issues with the driver and rear passenger injury measures.
The main reason the IIHS didn’t give the 2022 CR-V the TSP+ was the SUV’s “medium” rating for headlights on some trim levels. They include the LX, EX, EX-L, and Special Edition models, and the minimum requirement for the TSP+ award in this area is an “acceptable” rating.