IIHS Top Safety Rating: Only 15 Cars Make Cut for 2018

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This year, 62 vehicle models earned the institute's top safety pick award.

Most cars on the top pick lists only qualified when they came with optional equipment, such as automatic emergency braking.

Another 47 vehicles earn the Top Safety Pick Award, which now requires acceptable or good headlights.

Toyota, Hyundai, and Subaru were among the brands that ranked highest in the ratings overall, although BMW and Mercedes-Benz also had several models on the list.

Scoring an acceptable rating for headlight visibility is enough for getting on the Top Safety Pick list but no longer for earning the coveted TPS+ award, which now requires a good rating unlike previous year.

The organization has long used crash tests as a key element for rating vehicles, including hits to the front driver's side, but this year the institute added a new test: crashes to the front on the passenger side.

Here is a link to all the top safety picks, which includes the reasons why they were chosen.

The Top Safety Pick+ winners are listed below. The latest awards are the first to factor in a passenger-side crash test. The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ.

The institute conducts crash tests and evaluates automobile safety standards.

The first official passenger-side ratings were released in October, following research tests previous year.

"Doesn't mean that vehicles have gotten less safe, it really just reflects that we've raised the bar", IIHS President Adrian Lund told CBS. "Manufacturers have been taking this issue seriously since we first shed light on it, and we're confident that good small overlap protection will become the norm on the passenger side, just as it has on the driver side". However, IIHS notes that the vast majority of the award-winners qualify only when optionally equipped because front crash prevention systems and acceptable or good headlights aren't often part of the base trims.

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