Japanese, Korean cars earn latest Top Safety Pick Plus awards [Video]

Japanese, Korean cars earn latest Top Safety Pick Plus awards [Video]

The latest Honda Civic sedan, Hyundai Sonata, Lexus RX and Nissan Altima have all aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s latest round of crashworthiness trials.

The four vehicles have earned Top Safety Pick+ ratings, adding to the 48 models already on the honor roll. Each vehicle has achieved a ‘good’ rating in all crash scenarios, along with an ‘advanced’ or ‘superior’ rating for automatic emergency braking.

In the IIHS track tests, the Civic, Sonata and RX entirely avoided collisions at 12 mph and 25 mph. The Altima stopped short of the 12 mph impact, however the sedan struck the test obstacle at 15 mph in after braking from 25 mph in the higher-speed test.

Vehicles must meet more stringent criteria to qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ rating this year. The requirement for a ‘good’ rating in the challenging small-overlap test is the biggest change, after 2015 models passed with a lower ‘acceptable’ mark.

“The Sonata and the Altima, both midsize cars, were 2015 award winners. Both cars had their structure improved to raise their small overlap front ratings from acceptable to good,” the IIHS said in a statement. “In the case of the Sonata, the improvements were made after production for the 2016 model year had already begun. The award only applies to Sonatas built after October.”

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