You may be the world’s safest driver, but you can’t control the drivers around you — no matter how careful you are, you’ll likely be in a car accident someday. To minimize injury, you want a car with the highest crash-test scores. Two organizations test U.S. cars: The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit backed by most insurance companies, and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a government agency.
An IIHS Top Safety Pick rating means a car achieved a top score of Good in all six individual IIHS crash tests, as well as a score of Advanced or Superior for its automatic emergency braking system. A further designation of Top Safety Pick+ applies when the vehicle’s standard-equipment headlights score Good or Acceptable. Meanwhile, the NHTSA measures head-on frontal and side-impact crash-test scenarios, as well as the likelihood that a vehicle will roll over in a collision. Getting a 5-star overall rating from the NHTSA means that the vehicle performed well in protecting passengers in all of these tests. Only 10 cars on sale today get both a 5-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. Here they are, in alphabetical order.