Which Vehicles Have the Highest Safety Ratings for 2022?


Shopping for a new vehicle can be overwhelming, considering the number of different brands manufactured each year. When making their decision, consumers consider a wide range of factors, including the make and model, different costs, and various features in the vehicle. Price is a key consideration for some consumers, whereas others focus on all the bells and whistles offered. One factor that remains a priority for consumers is safety. 

Consumers want to know that the vehicle they choose to drive will protect them in case of a car wreck. Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compile lists of the safest vehicles, which help consumers identify vehicles that meet their specific needs and offer optimal safety features. In making their lists, several factors are considered, including front crash prevention tests, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations, head restraint and roof strength tests, driver-side and passenger-side overlap tests, and headlight standards.

The manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports says that in 2022, it is the bare minimum for all cars to have solid crash protection. They stated that with the millions of individuals injured due to car accidents each year, vehicles must come standard with safety technology that effectively prevents car accidents from happening in the first place.

Most vehicles come equipped with a range of advanced safety features. Still, small changes can lead to significant improvements and bump up a vehicle’s annual safety rating from the IIHS or NHTSA. Even minor improvements to features, such as headlights, have doubled the number of vehicles getting the highest ratings from the IIHS, which happens when manufacturers develop headlights that give off less glare to oncoming drivers after being flagged by the IIHS for many years.

Consumer Reports recognizes the year’s safest vehicles based on data from the NHTSA and the IIHS. Some of the chosen models were recently redesigned, and some are entirely new vehicles. This year, there are many new vehicles for consumers that are the top choices for the safest vehicles of 2022.

Broken down into size classes, the IIHS has included the following vehicles on its 2022 Top Safety Pick list:

Small Cars

  • Honda Civic, hatchback, sedan
  • Honda Insight, sedan
  • Hyundai Elantra, sedan
  • Kia Soul, wagon
  • Mazda 3, hatchback
  • Mazda 3, sedan
  • Nissan Sentra, sedan
  • Subaru BRZ, hatchback
  • Subaru Crosstrek, wagon
  • Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, wagon
  • Subaru Impreza, wagon
  • Toyota Corolla, hatchback
  • Toyota Corolla, sedan
  • Toyota GR86, hatchback

Midsize Cars

  • Honda Accord, sedan
  • Hyundai Sonata, sedan
  • Kia K5, sedan
  • Nissan Altima, sedan
  • Nissan Maxima, sedan
  • Subaru Legacy, sedan
  • Subaru Outback, wagon
  • Toyota Camry, sedan

Midsize Luxury Cars

  • Acura TLX, sedan
  • Audi A4, sedan
  • Audi A5 Sportback, hatchback
  • BMW 2 series Gran Coupe, sedan
  • BMW 3 series, sedan
  • Lexus ES 350, sedan
  • Lexis IS, sedan
  • Tesla Model 3, sedan
  • Volvo S60, sedan
  • Volvo S60 Recharge, sedan
  • Volvo S60 Cross Country, wagon
  • Volvo S60 Recharge, wagon

Large Cars

  • Kia Stinger, hatchback
  • Toyota Avalon, sedan
  • Volkswagen Arteon, hatchback

Large Luxury Cars

  • Audi A6, sedan
  • Audi A6 allroad, wagon
  • Audi A7, hatchback
  • Genesis G70, sedan (applies only to vehicles built after June 2021)
  • Genesis G80, sedan
  • Genesis G90, sedan
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Volvo S90, sedan
  • Volvo S90 Recharge, sedan
  • Volvo S90 Cross Country, wagon

Small SUVs

  • Buick Encore GX
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • Ford Bronco Sport
  • Ford Escape (with specific headlights)
  • Honda CR-V
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Hyundai Venue
  • Kia Seltos
  • Kia Sportage
  • Lexus UX
  • Lincoln Corsair
  • Mazda CX-30
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mitsubishi Outlander (applies only to vehicles built after June 2021)
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Forester
  • Toyota C-HR
  • Toyota Corolla Cross
  • Toyota RAV-4
  • Toyota RAV-4 Prime
  • Toyota Venza
  • Volvo C40 Recharge
  • Volvo XC40
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge

Midsize SUVs

  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Hyundai Sant Fe (only applies to vehicles built after July 2021)
  • Kia Sorento
  • Kia Telluride
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Nissan Murano
  • Subaru Ascent
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Volkswagen ID.4

Midsize Luxury SUVs

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q5
  • Audi Q5 Sportback
  • BMW X5
  • Cadillac XT6
  • Genesis GV70
  • Genesis GV80
  • Hyundai Nexo
  • Lexus NX
  • Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid
  • Lexus RX
  • Lincoln Aviator
  • Lincoln Nautilus
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class (with optional front crash prevention)
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge
  • Volvo XC90
  • Volvo XC90 Recharge 

Large SUVs

  • Audi e-tron
  • Audi e-tron Sportback
  • Audi Q8 (with specific highlights)


  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Kia Carnival
  • Toyota Sienna

Small Pickups

  • Hyundai Santa Cruz Crew cab pickup (with specific highlights)

Large Pickups

  • Ford F-150 Crew cab pickup (with specific highlights)
  • Ford F-150 Extended cab pickup (with specific highlights)
  • Ram 1500 Crew cab pickup (with optional front crash prevention and specific highlights)

Consumer Reports, the IIHS, and NHTSA have all pushed automakers to continually improve vehicle safety by making standards more demanding over time. The president of the IIHS noted that the high number of vehicles on the IIHS 2022 Top Safety Pick list reflects the influence of their rating system in raising the bar and the need to strive for additional safety changes. 

In 2023, there will be two additional tests that vehicles must perform well to reflect the latest dangers to motorists and other road users. 

One of these tests will replicate a higher-speed impact with larger vehicles, such as modern SUVs or pickups, which are increasingly more common on the roads. 

The second test will evaluate the nighttime performance of automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems with pedestrian detection. Although most new vehicles have AEB systems designed to brake for pedestrians automatically, tests show that they can have trouble detecting pedestrians at night, which is when 73 percent of car accidents involving pedestrians occur.

Even the highest-rated vehicles with superior safety ratings and advanced safety features can become involved in a severe car accident if a driver is negligent. An experienced car accident lawyer can assist in proving who is liable and determine if the injured party is entitled to financial compensation.

Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Can Help You After a Collision

If you have been injured in a car wreck, you are urged to contact one of our experienced Baltimore car wreck lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will address all of your questions and concerns. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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