The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its TOP SAFETY PICK + and TOP SAFETY PICK winner list for 2013. The organization grants these awards annually to the latest vehicle models that earn good merits in their safety tests. This year, the batch of TOP SAFETY PICK + recepients includes vehicles available in the local market such as the following:

2013 Hyundai Elantra

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2013 Honda Civic 4-door

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2013-2014 Ford Focus 4-door

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2014 Subaru Forester

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2014 Mazda 6

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TOP SAFETY PICK + recepients total to 6 from the small cars, 12 from the midsize moderately priced cars, 3 from the midsize luxury/near luxury cars, 3 from the small SUVs, and 1 from the midsize luxury SUVs. Such increase in the number of small cars broadens the options for consumers inclined to buy a model from that category.

Each candidate vehicle was subjected to five occupant protection tests designed to evaluate the vehicle’s reaction to collisions and other accidents. The series includes the following:

  1. Moderate overlap front test
  2. Small overlap front test
  3. Side impact test
  4. Rollover test
  5. Rear test

The vehicles are categorized according to their sizes. IIHS does not compare ratings across the size groups because of the protection difference in major crashes. Larger, heavier vehicles generally tend to provide more protection to occupants than the smaller, lighter models. Therefore, the awards granted to the vehicles are only limited within its category.

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on their performance in the test series. To be qualified for the TOP SAFETY PICK +, the vehicle must earn good ratings in at least 4 of the 5 tests and no less than acceptable in the 5th test. To be qualified for the TOP SAFETY PICK, the vehicle must earn good ratings in tests 1, 3, 4 and 5, regardless of the rating in test 2.

To view the complete list, check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s site at