No matter who you ask, there are multiple things people expect from luxury sedans. The list usually includes: power, style, an impeccable cabin, and a top safety rating. In 2018, the last item became harder for automakers to deliver to consumers.
That’s because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) added a new requirement for its highest honor, the Top Safety Pick+ award. For this model year, only vehicles with a “good” rating for headlights (in addition to strong crash tests) could earn the honor. Basically, it takes LED projector lights with high-beam assist to get there. (Crash-prevention technology is also a requirement.)
Here are the only five luxury sedans the IIHS gave Top Safety Pick+ awards for 2018.
1. Genesis G80
Hyundai’s luxury brand makes a strong case for consumers in this segment. Part of the approach is overwhelming buyers also looking at BMW and Mercedes cars. (Dropping the “Hyundai” from the name didn’t hurt, either.)
The 2018 Genesis G80 does all that along with a Top Safety Pick+ award. To get there, the G80 aced all six IIHS crash tests and got a top headlight rating for the LED projectors that come with the Ultimate package. Front-crash prevention technology comes standard.
2. BMW 5 Series
In the case of the BMW 5 Series, the automaker did not include any of the safety features needed for a Top Safety Pick+. However, when a 5 Series sedan has the optional front-crash prevention tech and LED lights in the Premium and Lighting packages, it fits the bill.
Since the 5 Series returned a “marginal” score for front-crash tests in 2016, this model won the top safety award in consecutive years.
3. Lincoln Continental
The redesigned Lincoln Continental has won over many of the brand’s old fans, and no one will complain about its safety specs. It aced all six crash tests, offers superior crash-prevention tech, and has the headlights the IIHS requires for the top safety award.
Since the redesigned model appeared for 2017, Continental locked down the top honor both years.
4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
All things considered, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan may be the safest car out there. It landed the highest crash-test score for all six tests, got the top headlight rating, and also aced the test for child-seat anchors.
Crash-prevention tech comes with every E-Class sedan, so buyers don’t have to worry there. However, you will need to add on a Premium package to get the headlights the IIHS deemed safest.
5. Genesis G90
Just glancing at the Top Safety Pick+ winners in the luxury category, you can see how Genesis aimed to impress consumers. While every other model required at least one add-on to qualify for the IIGS award, the 2018 G90 delivers the technology standard.
In other words, besides acing all the crash tests, G90 delivers the top headlights in every trim. Meanwhile, its standard crash-prevention tech landed it a “superior” rating in that department. Every G90 is ready to drive off the lot as one of the industry’s safest cars.