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Awards and ratings explained

How vehicles are listed

On these pages, winners of TOP SAFETY PICK+ are listed first, followed by winners of TOP SAFETY PICK. Vehicles that don't earn either award come last. Within those groups, vehicles are listed in order of their ratings (good, acceptable, marginal or poor in the Institute's five crashworthiness evaluations and headlight evaluations and superior, advanced, basic or not available for front crash prevention). Results in front crash tests are given priority in this ranking, followed by side, roof strength, head restraints, front crash prevention and, for those vehicle classes that have been rated, headlights. Vehicles with identical ratings in all those categories appear in alphabetical order.

About the awards and ratings

  • To qualify for 2017 Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn good ratings in five crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
  • To qualify for 2017 Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests, an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.
  • The small overlap front rating is based on a 40 mph crash test in which 25 percent of the vehicle's width strikes a rigid barrier.
  • The moderate overlap front rating is based on a 40 mph crash test in which 40 percent of the vehicle's width strikes a deformable barrier.
  • The side rating is based on a crash test in which an SUV-like barrier strikes the driver side of the vehicle at 31 mph. Except where noted, models have a standard complement of side airbags, generally consisting of front and rear curtain airbags to protect the head and front seat-mounted airbags to protect the torso.
  • The roof strength rating is based on a test in which a metal plate is pushed against one side of the vehicle's roof at a slow, constant speed.
  • The head restraints & seats rating is based on a sled test of the vehicle's seat and head restraint. This rating only applies to the specific seat/head restraint combination tested, indicated on the vehicle details page.
  • The front crash prevention rating is based on autobraking performance in tests at 12 mph and 25 mph and on availability of a forward collision warning system meeting government performance criteria.
  • The headlight rating is based on the illumination provided by a vehicle's headlights on straight roads and curves. Each rating applies to a specific headlight type.
  • The child seat anchors (LATCH) rating is based on an ease-of-use evaluation of vehicle hardware for installing child restraints. This rating only applies to the specific trim level and seat type evaluated, indicated on the vehicle details page.

Small overlap front, moderate overlap front and head restraint ratings should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight. Side, roof strength, front crash prevention, headlights and LATCH ratings can be compared across vehicle categories.

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