When people think of vehicle safety, they usually think carefully about negotiating traffic, pedestrians, and other things while driving from Point A to Point B. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests many of the most popular vehicles each year and awards the safest models with its highest honor, the Top Safety Pick+. Historically, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have received the highest awards. But their 2022 models lag behind competitors like the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson. IIHS promises to add more stringent testing standards in 2023.
Let’s take a look at this year’s IIHS awards and why the CR-V and RAV4 failed to earn the highest ratings.
2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick Award Winners +
For 2022, 65 car models received IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards, including Honda and Toyota models. The small SUV category saw 10 winners from auto manufacturers such as Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Volvo. However, Honda and Toyota failed to receive the Top Safety Pick+ awards in the small SUV category. Instead, they took a lower Top Safety Pick for the CR-V and RAV4 models.
The IIHS awards a Top Safety Pick and a Top Safety Pick+ to vehicles that have passed a series of crash resistance tests such as the driver and passenger side small front staggered, moderate staggered front and the original side impact test. In addition, they conduct tests on the strength of the roof, seats and headrests.
The organization is also evaluating other parameters, including child seat anchors, automatic collision avoidance systems, and the effectiveness of headlights. The vehicle must have a score of Acceptable or Good in each category to receive Best Safety Pick or Best Safety Pick+.
The criteria for both awards are similar, but the main difference is the availability of acceptable or good headlight options. The IIHS awards Top Safety Pick honors vehicles with a choice of acceptable or good headlights on select trim levels. At the same time, the Top Safety Pick + is only intended for cars with acceptable or good headlights in all trim levels.
IIHS began awarding a Top Safety Pick to eligible vehicles in 2006. As technology advances, the nonprofit organization added a Top Safety Pick+ in 2013. The methods that IIHS uses in crash testing and the tests themselves continue to evolve over the years. From the beginning, until 2003, the institute used the standard side impact test. In 2012, it added a small overlapping driver-side frontal crash tester. Five years later, IIHS added a similar test for the passenger side.
2022 Honda CR-V’s IIHS Test Results
The Honda CR-V is a safe, reliable and popular small SUV. With seating for five, enough cargo space for family groceries, and good fuel economy for an SUV, the 2022 CR-V deserves attention.
In any trim level, the CR-V is a safe and reliable vehicle. The only marks IIHS gave against the Honda compact crossover are base-model spur-light performance, fair-not-good ratings for the updated side-impact test and LATCH usability classes for child stabilizers.
A glimpse of the Toyota RAV4 2022
Like the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 is not safe because it failed to win IIHS’ highest honor. Except for an acceptable headlight grade or marginal depending on the trim level, every other test is top notch.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 has received good reviews in IIHS crash tests and even a +good rating for the ease of use of the child seat LATCH. However, he missed the Top Safety Pick+ because the RAV4 offers an upgraded headlight system only on select trim levels.
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