Top Safety Picks by year
IIHS conducts vehicle tests to determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash. It also rates vehicles for front crash prevention, systems that warn the driver or brake automatically to avoid or mitigate a frontal collision. The vehicles that perform best in the tests qualify for Top Safety Pick, which has been awarded since the 2006 model year, or Top Safety Pick+, which was inaugurated in 2013.
To qualify for 2009 Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, and head restraint tests and must offer electronic stability control.
Models that earn Top Safety Pick are the best vehicle choices for safety within size categories. Size and weight influence occupant protection in serious crashes. Larger, heavier vehicles generally afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones. Thus, a small car that's a Top Safety Pick doesn't necessarily afford more protection than a bigger car that doesn't earn the award.
All 2009 Top Safety Picks are 2009 models unless otherwise noted.