Safest Small SUVs with IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus Awards: Consumer Reports

Finding a small SUV that is also safe can seem like an impossible task. However, thanks to updated tests from the IIHS have left a small number of options in the pool. Down from 101 winning models in 2022, only 28 vehicles qualified in 2023. Of those, only four compact sport utility vehicles made the cut from Honda, Subaru, and Lexus. These are small SUVs with IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus awards, the highest award offered for this year.

The Honda CR-V is a small SUV with an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award

When Consumer Reports listed some of the safest compact SUVs, the 2023 Honda CR-V was at the top of the list. While the 2023 CR-V is fresh off a recent redesign, it didn’t change the winning formula Honda is known for. It offers a 1.5L turbo engine with a CVT, enough to power the small SUV around town.

What made the CR-V a small SUV with an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Plus award? Honda included many driver assistance features standard. These include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning.

The 2023 CR-V also got critical systems like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. To achieve the Top Safety Pick Plus award, the Honda SUV also scored well on vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention.

Honda’s HR-V was another small SUV with an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award

Another recently updated small SUV, the 2023 Honda HR-V, landed a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the IIHS for this year. Consumer Reports says it is a more pleasant and refined sport utility vehicle in 2023. It is roomier inside than it looks and comes with easy-to-use controls. Controls are one of the most complained-about features on Consumer Reports Annual Auto Surveys, so this feature is more important than it seems.

Honda included the same long list of safety features standard. A few of those include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, and automatic emergency braking. Lane-keep assist and lane-centering assist were also included.

Thanks to all the standard equipment, the IIHS gave the 2023 Honda HR-V its Top Safety Pick Plus award. It earned high marks on all front, side, and rear crash tests and a “superior” score on the automatic emergency braking pedestrian tests.

The Lexus UX and Subaru Solterra also earned IIHS TSP+ awards

This Lexus UX is a small SUV with IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Awards
A 2023 Lexus UX | Lexus

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Even though the 2023 Lexus UX is a small luxury SUV, it still earned top marks from the IIHS. For this year, the UX 250h is the only option and is a hybrid powertrain. The exterior looks more like a raised hatchback than a traditional SUV, but it has enough standard safety equipment to ease any qualms about the styling. For 2023, the UX also received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2023 Subaru Solterra is the first full-electric vehicle from the brand and comes with all-wheel drive standard. It is pleasant and comfortable enough, but the 222-mile range has been a drawback for some. The Top Safety Pick Plus award only applies to the Solterra SUVs built after October 2022.

While there are only four small SUVs with IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award this year, that is still good for future vehicles. Automakers will strive to make cars, trucks, and SUVs safer in 2024.