IIHS' picks for the safest cars you can buy in 2020 are out, and no pickup trucks or minivans made the cut - see the full list
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its list of safest models for 2020, with 64 cars qualifying.
- IIHS factors in things like crashworthiness, headlights, and collision-prevention technology to choose which vehicles earn its Top Safety Pick awards.
- The Top Safety Pick Plus title, awarded to 23 vehicles this year, is reserved for cars that come with good-quality headlights as standard.
- Hyundai claims the most winners overall, while Mazda receives the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards of any brand.
- No pickup trucks or minivans made the list.
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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, otherwise known as IIHS, has released its yearly list of the safest new cars, awarding the title of Top Safety Pick to 64 vehicles for 2020. Twenty-three of those vehicles received the highest honor of "Top Safety Pick Plus," and no pickup trucks or minivans made the list.
IIHS evaluates cars in terms of things like crashworthiness, safety technology, and headlights at its Virginia facility, rating US models alongside the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and giving out awards if they perform well enough. Automakers then paste those awards across their advertisements, as you surely already know.
IIHS generally uses four ratings - good, acceptable, marginal, and poor - and to qualify for Top Safety Picks, vehicles must receive a "good" rating across all six of its crash tests. They also need to offer available front-crash-prevention technology that's satisfactory in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian situations.
IIHS began evaluating headlights in 2016, and this year, it only awarded the Top Safety Pick Plus title to vehicles that come equipped with "good" or "acceptable" headlights as standard. Automakers often offer an array of headlights on different trims of the same model, giving lower-priced models headlights with IIHS' worst ratings while higher ones get headlights with the best ratings.
Top Safety Picks still need to offer "good" or "acceptable" headlights as an option, but they don't have to be standard - meaning buyers can still get priced out of good visibility at night.
Scroll down to learn which 64 cars are the safest you can buy, according to IIHS. The 23 Top Safety Pick Plus award winners are listed first, followed by the 41 Top Safety Picks.