Consumer Reports and IIHS Name Safest SUVs for 2022

When it comes to SUVs, Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) know a few things. The SUVs below qualified for the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which tests how safe these vehicles are in the case of a crash. It isn’t quite that simple, though, and the qualifications are getting harder next year. So what are the safest SUVs on the road for 2022?

Consumer Reports says these luxury midsize SUVs recieved the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award

Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded these SUVs
The 2019 Honda HR-V SUV during an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIIHS) crash test | Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

For 2022, the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ became a little harder to get. It isn’t just a test for crashworthiness but also offers more crash prevention systems to avoid an accident entirely. The IIHS has “tests of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention,” Consumer Reports says. This year, headlights also had a major impact on scores for safe SUVs.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports picked some of the safest SUVs on the road this year. 101 different cars, trucks, and SUVs made the list, up from 90 last year. The Acura MDX, Acura RDX, Acura RDX, and Audi Q5 (plus the Sportback trim) start out the midsize luxury SUV section.

“New cars should offer strong protection in a crash, but in 2022, that’s the bare minimum. With more than 35,000 people killed and millions injured on our roads each year, it’s vital for cars to also come standard with safety technology that’s effective at preventing a crash in the first place.”

William Wallace | Manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports

The Cadillac XT6, Genesis GV70, Genesis GV80, and the Hyundai Nexo also made the list. With the optional front crash prevention, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class qualifies. It has to have the additional safety features, though. In the same category, the new Tesla Model Y electric SUV also qualified. The Volvo XC60 and Volvo XC90 qualified for the 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ in regular and Recharge trim levels.

The IIHS and Consumer Reports found a variety of small SUVs qualified

The Chevrolet Trailblazer and Ford Bronco Sport received a 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award in the small SUV section. The new Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, and Mazda CX-30 SUVs also qualified. If you have the Mitsubishi Outlander built after June 2021, this SUV qualifies after a few upgrades. Those made before June of last year do not qualify.

The IIHS recognized the Nissan Rogue and the Volvo C40 Recharge. The regular Volvo C40 did not qualify, unfortunately. But both the standard Volvo XC40 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge were small SUVs that qualified for the Top Safety Pick+.

The IIHS says that these SUVs qualified for the 2022 testing, but the 2023 Top Safety Pick+ award will not be quite as easy. Consumer Reports says that the side-impact score will require a score of “Acceptable.” Only one small SUV qualified.

The midsize and large SUV sections were smaller


7 Best Small SUVs You Can Buy Now

The midsize SUV section started with the Ford Explorer and Hyundai Palisade. If you have a Hyundai Santa Fe built after July 2021, this qualifies for the Top Safety Pick+ award. The Mazda CX-9, Nissan Murano, and Subaru Ascent SUVs also qualified. It is no surprise that the Toyota Highlander earned this award thanks to Toyotas Safety Suite of extra features. And in some good news for VW, the Volkswagen ID.4 kept drivers safe during testing.

The large SUV section only awarded the Audi E-Tron and Audi E-Tron Sportback SUVs. All three of the popular minivans on the market qualified. That means the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna are all safe enough to qualify.

Next year, the IIHS Top Safety Pick standards are even higher. The company is introducing two new tests to ensure vehicles are safe for the road. One of these tests includes using the automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems with pedestrian detection in a nighttime scenario. Vehicles will need to earn an “Advanced” or “Superior” score to qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award. Keep an eye out for Consumer Reports testing along with the IIHS research to help find the safest SUVs on the market.