The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the 2016 Toyota Highlander its top safety honor.
This is a repeat performance for the 2016 Highlander, which also was a top safety pick plus in 2015. But thanks to more stringent rules in 2016, which require a ‘good’ rating in the small overlap test, Toyota made structural changes to the crossover to improve small overlap performance.
Thanks to the changes, the crash test dummy’s head was better controlled in a crash than in the previous model. During the tests on the previous model, the dummy’s head slid off the side of the airbag.
To earn a top safety pick designation, a vehicle must get a ‘good’ rating in all five crash tests, while getting the added ‘plus’ moniker requires at least an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention system. The 2016 Highlander’s system is rated advanced.