• IIHS Announces 2017 Top Safety Pick+ Awards for SUVs and Trucks

Did your favorite truck or SUV make the list?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has published its list of Top Safety Pick+ winners for the 2017 model year. The criteria has changed this year, and now includes headlight performance as a critical piece to vehicle safety. As a result, the list is shorter than in years past. Nevertheless, 17 trucks and SUVs took home the coveted IIHS’ award.

Testing includes a variety of crash testing, seat safety testing, crash avoidance technology testing, and now headlight performance testing. Several crash tests are done with each vehicle type, including the small front overlap, moderate front overlap, side impact, and roof strength. The front seats’ headrests are tested for their ability in preventing neck injuries.

In an effort to help prevent crashes altogether, the IIHS tests vehicles’ various radar and camera-based active safety systems. These systems namely include emergency automatic braking that prevents the vehicle from rear-ending the preceding vehicle should the driver not apply the brakes in time. It is the crash prevention technology that separates vehicles in the Top Safety Pick award bracket from those in the Top Safety Pick+ category.

So without further ado, here is the IIHS’ list of crossovers, SUVs, and pickups that earned a Top Safety Pick+ award for 2017.

Continue reading for the full list.

IIHS Rating Scale

Good Acceptable Marginal Poor

Small SUVs

2017 Mazda CX-3


New for 2016, the CX-3 stays on the IIHS’ list of Top Safety Pick+ compact crossovers for 2017. The CX-3 is the smaller brother to the popular CX-5 and is Mazda’s stab at stealing market share in this insanely popular (and growing) category. It comes powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 146 horsepower that utilizes a six-speed automatic transmission. FWD is standard and AWD is optional. The CX-3 carries a starting price of $20,860

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Acceptable

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda CX-3 here.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander


The Outlander has been around a few years and is largely unloved in the crossover segment. Much of that can be attributed to Mitsubishi’s failings in North America. Despite this, the Outlander managed to snag a Top Safety Pick+ award thanks to its impressive crash test results. Still, we’d recommend looking elsewhere in the segment if residual value and brand image are important qualities to you. Still, it’s hard to argue against a $23,495 starting price for a three-row crossover.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Acceptable

Read our full review on the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander here.

2017 Nissan Rogue


The Nissan Rogue wears a new face for 2017 and it looks rather sharp. A hybrid powertrain is available for the first time in Rogue, helping it score points with the fuel frugal crowd. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder with its 170 horsepower carries over from 2016 unchanged. Those wanting a swanky interior should give the Rogue a strong look; Nissan has made it very plush. The 2017 Rogue can be had for a base price of $23,820. What’s more, Nissan’s partnership with the Star Wars franchise has resulted in a special edition that celebrates Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Marginal

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Rogue here.

2017 Subaru Forester


Minor exterior updates help freshen the Forester for 2017, while new active safety equipment help keep it riding the ever-tightening Top Safety Pick+ wave. Its mechanics are updated too, with the Forester borrowing the Impreza WRX STI’s Active Torque Vectoring system on its range-topping trim model when equipped with the 250-horsepower 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder. And like all Subarus do (save for the BRZ), the Forester comes standard with AWD. Prices begin at $23,470.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Marginal

Read our full review on the 2017 Subaru Forester here.

2017 Toyota RAV4


The RAV4 received an extensive refresh for 2016 and those changes carry over for 2017. The two-row crossover provides a pleasant, non-offensive place to ride, that also happens to be rather safe. The crossover employs Toyota’s Safety Sense-P system that includes forward-collision warning, lane-departure alert, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beam headlights. Toyota’s reputation for building long-lasting and reliable vehicles also helps the RAV4 with consumer approval ratings. Prices start at $25,850

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Marginal

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota RAV4 here.

Mid-size SUVS

2017 Honda Pilot


The Pilot continues to be a popular choice in the three-row crossover category. It was last refreshed for 2016 and now adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for 2017. Carrying over is Honda’s long list of safety equipment wrapped in the Honda Sensing system. It includes automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and road-departure mitigation. A 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 motivates the Pilot, with lower trim levels getting a six-speed auto, while upper trim models get a nine-speed auto. Pricing starts at $30,595.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Acceptable

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Pilot here.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe


The Santa Fe enjoys new styling for 2017 and comes with a host of options. This three-row crossover also boasts Hyundai’s impressive warranty and, of course, a slew of active safety features. Like the other contenders here, the Santa Fe comes with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Its Mult-View camera gives a 360-degree, bird’s eye view of the crossover’s surroundings. A 290-horse 3.3-liter V-6 provides power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic. AWD is optional. Prices start at $30,800

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Good
LATCH Ease of Use Acceptable

Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe here.

Mid-size Luxury SUVs

2017 Acura MDX


The MDX is Acura’s version of the Honda Pilot. This three-row crossover get a heavy refresh for 2017 that includes plenty of tech and safety equipment. In fact, automatic emergency braking comes standard on every MDX. Other features bundled inside the AcuraWatch system include adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic assist, and a 360-degree camera system. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 making 290 horsepower. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is optional. Prices start at $43,950

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Acceptable

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura MDX here.

2017 Acura RDX


The RDX carries over unchanged for the 2017 model year, but its long list of safety features come with it. Like the bigger MDX, the RDX comes with AcuraWatch, which includes adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic assist, and the 360-degree camera system. The RDX also gets the same 3.5-liter V-6, though it’s tuned to 279 horsepower. FWD and a six-speed automatic come standard. AWD is optional. Prices start at $36,310

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Acceptable

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura RDX here.

2017 Audi Q5


The 2017 model year is the last run for the current-generation Q5 before the all-new 2018 model hits U.S. dealerships. Despite its age, the Q5 offers plenty of high-tech safety equipment and roof for five. The optional Audi Pre Sense system helps avoid crashes, as does the optional adaptive cruise control. Its front crash prevention score did rank lower than other models, ranking an “Advanced.” Its rear LATCH system, which anchors a child seat, also ranks low, scoring only a “Marginal” in ease-of-use. A 220-horesepower turbo four comes standard and a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 272 horsepower is optional. Audi’s quattro AWD and an eight-speed automatic come standard with both engines Pricing starts at $40,900.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Advanced
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Marginal

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi Q5 here.

2017 Buick Envision


Buick might not be the first name most crossover buyers look to, but the new-for 2016 Envision offers room for five in a plush cabin. Typical General Motors tech abounds, but that’s not a bad thing. Its list of safety equipment keeps it on the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ list again for 2017, thanks to Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, five exterior cameras, and GM’s Safety Alert Seat. Powering the Envision is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 197-horsepower. An optional 2.0-liter turbo-four makes 252 horsepower. Both mate to a six-speed automatic. FWD comes standard and AWD is optional. Prices begin at $34,065.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Advanced
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Marginal

Read our full review on the 2017 Buick Envision here.

2017 Lexus NX


The NX debuted for the 2015 model year and transitions into 2017 with nary a change. Still, the NX’s aggressive and angular styling remains fresh, as does its choice of a 2.0-liter turbo-four (200t) or 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid (300h). The NX does have the distinction of being Lexus’ first turbocharged vehicle. FWD is standard and AWD is optional. Also optional is the F Sport appearance and suspension package on the 200t. Interior space is stylish yet on the smaller side in this category. Safety systems include the Pre-collision system, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a backup camera. Pricing for Lexus’ smallest crossover starts at $35,085. Checking the F Sport box costs $2,100. The 300h hybrid model starts at $39,720.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Advanced
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Marginal

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus NX here.

2017 Lexus RX


Lexus gave its insanely popular RX a heavy refresh for 2016, pushing its styling from dull and geriatric to exciting and youthful. Along with the reversal in age came a slew of active safety systems, including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. It also boasts a 360-degree camera system, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking. These systems come standard on the RX, bundled inside the Lexus Safety System+. Also noteworthy, the RX’s rear LATCH positions are so easy to use, the IIHS rates them as “Good+.” Pricing for the 2017 RX 350 starts at $43,020. Customers can also choose the RX 350 F Sport, RX 450h Hybrid, and RX 450h F Sport.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Good+

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RX here.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class


The GLE is Mercedes’ replacement for the ML-Class and debuted for the 2016 model year. This two-row SUV has some impressive attributes like an available 7,200-pound towing capacity, AWD, a Plug-in Hybrid version, three AMG versions, and a host of safety systems. They include Active Brake Assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree camera system. Prices start at $52,000 for the GLE350.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Acceptable
LATCH Ease of Use Good

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class here.

2017 Volvo XC60


The current XC60 has been around since 2010 with an update in 2014. Despite it showing its age, the XC60 still earns a top spot with the IIHS – even beating out its fancy big brother, the XC90 thanks to its marginally rated headlights. The smaller XC60 boasts features like Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection and Volvo’s City Safety. Other features include blind spot monitoring, a backup camera, and Volvo’s On Call telematics system. The XC60 comes in three forms – the T5 FWD, T5 AWD, and T6 AWD. Pricing starts at $40,950.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Good
LATCH Ease of Use Marginal

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo XC60 here.

Pickup Trucks

2017 Honda Ridgeline


The Honda Ridgeline is the only pickup to earn the Top Safety Pick+ award for 2017. Much of that has to do with its shared platform and technologies with the Honda Pilot. The Ridgeline offers Collision Mitigation Braking with the Honda Sensing Package. Other features include blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure alert, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Customers will have to choose the two range-topping trims in order to have those features, however. The Ridgeline comes powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 with 280 horsepower. A six-speed automatic does the shifting and FWD comes standard with AWD as an option. Prices start at $249,475.

Small Overlap Front Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Impact Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints & Seats Good
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Headlights Good
LATCH Ease of Use Acceptable

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Ridgeline here.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

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