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Did the chicken come before the egg, or was it the other way around? While that question remains a mystery to some and argued by others, we know that vehicles came before safety systems. Thankfully, we live in a time when more vehicles come with advanced safety equipment than ever before. The IIHS gives us its list of the safest crossover SUVs for 2022, which is where you’ll find 34 different models to choose from for a safe drive.

The most extensive lineup of Top Safety Pick+ SUVs

Silver 2022 Toyota Highlander posed for a show
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The small, midsize, and luxury crossover SUVs are flocking to the top safety ratings in droves. According to Forbes, 2022 has more Top Safety Pick+ award winners among SUVs than ever before. This high achievement gives you a long list of impressive crossovers you can drive and know you’ll have a comprehensive safety package in your vehicle. In addition to the 34 models on the TSP+ list, an additional 20 SUVs achieved the Top Safety Pick rating.

How does a crossover SUV achieve the TSP+ rating?

Crossover SUV in Side Impact Crash Test
Crossover SUV in Side Impact Crash Test | IIHS

For the IIHS to bestow the highest honor on a vehicle, that model must first receive good marks in all crashworthiness tests. These tests include:

  • Front impact
  • Side impact
  • Driver-side small overlap
  • Passenger-side small overlap

Once past the crash testing, a vehicle must then earn a “superior” or “advanced” for the forward emergency automatic braking system. To reach superior status, these crossover SUVs must automatically apply the brakes and reduce speeds by at least five mph in the 12 and 25 mph tests or avoid the crash altogether. The collision must be avoided in one of the two tests to achieve the advanced rating.

Earning the coveted “Plus” requires the vehicle to demonstrate good or acceptable-rated headlights as part of the standard equipment. Those models without the plus must offer highly-rated headlights as an option for the vehicle.

Which crossover SUVs achieved the Top Safety Pick+ rating?

A blue 2022 Audi e-Tron GT driving down a highway.
2022 Audi e-Tron GT | Audi

Small SUVs

  • Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • Ford Bronco Sport
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-30
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Volvo C40 Recharge
  • XC40 from Volvo
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge

Midsize SUVs

  • Ford Explorer
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Nissan Murano
  • Subaru Ascent
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Volkswagen ID.4

Midsize Luxury SUVs

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q5
  • Audi Q5 Sportback
  • Cadillac XT6
  • Genesis GV70
  • Genesis GV80
  • Hyundai Nexo
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Volvo XC60
  • XC60 Recharge
  • Volvo XC90
  • XC90 Recharge

Large SUVs

  • Audi e-tron
  • Audi e-tron Sportback

The menu is long; which SUV should you drive?

It’s hard to pick out one or two of the crossover SUVs on this list and tell you what to drive without looking at anything other than safety. As you can see, the list gives you a variety of options. You could select one of the electric models and enjoy the Volkswagen ID.4, Audi e-tron, or Tesla Model Y. If you want a crossover that’s a lot of fun to drive, there are three Mazda models on the list, the CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9. You see several SUVs from mainstream brands and a long list of luxury versions.

While you’re still trying to figure out which vehicle you want to drive, keep in mind all of these crossover SUVs passed the IIHS rigorous testing to become the safest SUVs on the road.


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