Just one month after the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published the initial batch of 48 winners of its Top Safety Pick+ award, four more 2016 vehicles snagged the coveted award. These are the 2016small sedan, the midsize 2016 Lexus RX SUV, and two midsize sedans, the 2016 and 2016 .
Requirements Tightened for 2016 Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+)
It’s important to note that the requirements for attaining the TSP+ designation for 2016 were tightened. In order to qualify, vehicles have to earn “good” ratings in each of the Institute’s five tests for crashworthiness: small overlap crash test, moderate overlap crash test, side and roof strength, and head restraint tests. In addition, TSP+ winners have to have an available front crash prevention system that earns and “advanced” or “superior” rating from the IIHS.
2016 Hyundai Sonata – The Hyundai Sonata, a midsize sedan, won the TSP+ award in 2015, but with the tightening of requirements to earn this award in 2016, Hyundai improved the 2016 Sonata’s structure to raise the small overlap front ratings from “acceptable” to “good.” Ratings apply to Sonata models produced after October 2015.
Also for 2016, the Sonata adds more safety equipment, making automatic emergency braking available to models previously equipped with forward collision warning. Other advanced safety options available on the 2016 Sonata include lane departure warning, smart cruise control with stop/start capability, rear parking sensors, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.
Standard Sonata safety equipment includes seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, driver’s side blind spot mirror, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, a tire pressure monitoring system with separate indicators for each tire, and vehicle stability management with electronic stability control and traction control system.
2016 Nissan Altima – Another midsize sedan, the 2016 Nissan Altima, underwent improvements in order to capture the 2016 TSP+ designation. This applies to Altima models equipped with optional forward emergency braking.
In addition to six standard airbags in the 2016 Nissan Altima, other available advanced safety technologies include rear cross-traffic alert (optional on Altima SV and SL), blind spot warning (standard on Altima SV and SL), predictive forward collision warning and forward emergency braking (included with Altima SL Tech package), intelligent cruise control (also included in the Altima SL Tech package), and a rearview monitor.
Predictive forward collision warning uses radar to constantly monitor vehicles ahead. An audible warning and a visible signal on the instrument panel automatically occur when the system detects sudden deceleration of the vehicle ahead. Forward emergency braking, on the other hand, constantly monitors the Altima’s speed and proximity to the vehicle ahead and is able to automatically apply the brakes in the event a forward collision is determined to be imminent and the driver fails to respond within a set period of time.
2016 Honda Civic – By achieving the top “good” rating in all five of the IIHS crash test modules, including the rigorous small overlap frontal crash test, the completely redesigned 10th-generation 2016 Honda Civic compact sedan earns the TSP+ designation for 2016. The designation applies to 2016 Honda Civic sedans when equipped with the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assist technologies – available on all 2016 Honda Civic sedan models.
Honda Sensing™ technologies include collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning (integrated with collision mitigation braking system), lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning (integrated with road departure warning), and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. Honda Sensing™ is standard on the Civic Touring model and is available as a standalone option on LX, EX, EX-T and EX-L trims.
Standard passive safety equipment on the 2016 Honda Civic sedan includes a new front passenger safety vent airbag, SmartVent® front side curtain airbags and side curtain airbags with rollover sensor. Also standard are vehicle stability assist with traction control; 4-channel anti-lock braking system with brake assist; a fully independent suspension; motion-adaptive electric power steering; a multi-angle rearview camera; expanded view driver’s mirror; indirect tire pressure monitoring system, and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) child seat mounting system.
2016 Lexus RX – Also completely redesigned for 2016, the 2016 Lexus RX midsize luxury crossover SUV now enters the ranks of TSP+ award winners. The previous generation of the RX had never undergone IIHS testing in the rigorous small overlap frontal test. The TSP+ applies to the 2016 Lexus RX, when equipped with optional front crash prevention – called Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, included in Lexus Safety Sense+.
The available Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection detects vehicles in the path of the RX under certain conditions. If the system determines a frontal collision is about to happen, it automatically prepares brake assist for increased brake force, can automatically begin braking prior to impact, and can even brake the RX to a stop at speeds above 6 mph.
The optional Lexus Safety Sense+ package includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, and intelligent high-beam headlamps.
Standard safety equipment includes 10 standard airbags, Lexus Enform Safety Connect, direct tire pressure monitor system, smart stop technology, and backup camera with dynamic gridlines. Standard or optional (depending on model) safety equipment includes LED cornering headlamps, intuitive parking assist, rain sensing wipers, blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, panoramic view monitor, premium triple-beam LED headlights, and more.