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Large SUVs are popular for a variety of reasons. One of the most important of these is versatility. Large sport utility vehicles tend to have ample seating, cargo space, and room for extra features. They can also be safer. Yet only two large SUVs are Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ winners. Here’s what that means and why it’s important.

A blue 2022 Audi e-Tron driving down a winding road.
2022 Audi e-Tron | Audi

The 2022 Audi e-Tron is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner

Only two large SUVs make the non-profit IIHS’ list of the Top Safety Pick+ winners – and they’re both Audis. The first of the safest large SUVs is the 2022 Audi e-Tron. It’s a large SUV that is also a Top Safety Pick+ winner, thanks to its top-notch crashworthiness scores and excellent ratings across the board.

The 2022 Audi e-tron price starts at $66,995. The 2022 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV with 355 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque. It has features like an all-road mode, which is perfect for driving your Audi e-tron in poor weather conditions, like snow. The 2022 Audi e-tron comes with a 10.1-inch infotainment screen as well as an 8.8-inch climate control screen.

The 2022 Audi e-Tron Sportback is the other super safe large SUV

The other large new sport utility vehicle to win a top safety award is the 2022 Audi e-Tron Sportback. This SUV has all good crashworthiness ratings, good and acceptable headlights available, and superior safety systems. Unfortunately, the IIHS hasn’t yet conducted the updated side crash test on the 2022 Audi e-Tron Sportback.

The 2022 Audi e-Tron isn’t cheap; this fully electric SUV starts at $87,400. It has room for five passengers and can make 402 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque. The e-tron Sportback also comes with all-wheel-drive and has Boost mode, which can ramp up the horsepower to 402 and torque up to 490.

Are the Audi e-Tron SUVs really the safest you can buy?

To be a Top Safety Pick+ award winner, a vehicle must have good crash test ratings in all major categories. It also has to have superior or advanced safety systems and acceptable or good headlights standard on all models.  

The IIHS says, “These awards identify the best vehicle choices for safety within size categories during a given year. Larger, heavier vehicles generally afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones. Thus, a small car that qualifies for an award might not protect its occupants as well as a bigger vehicle that doesn’t earn the award.”

If you’re in the market for a large SUV and you also happen to have a big budget and prioritize safety, you might love the 2022 Audi e-Tron or 2022 Audi e-Tron Sportback. Yet it’s worth noting that while these are the only two top award winners, there are other large SUVs on the market, some that are even bigger than the Audi e-Tron SUVs. While the Top Safety Pick+ list is a good place to start, it doesn’t have to be the only place you shop from.


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