The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced its TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ selections for 2024, along with significantly tougher standards.

“We followed the tougher requirements we introduced last year with another major update to the award criteria in 2024,” says David Harkey, IIHS president. “This year’s winners are true standouts, offering the highest level of protection for both vehicle occupants and other vulnerable road users.”

Even with the tougher standards, many Subaru models have once again achieved high marks for occupant protection and crash avoidance.

Which Subaru models achieved an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK or IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating for the 2024 model year?

The Subaru Ascent SUV was named a 2024 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+.

In addition, the all-new 2024 Subaru Impreza earned the 2024 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK award along with the Subaru Outback and Subaru Solterra.

In total, Subaru has received an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK or IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ award for four 2024 models:


2024 Subaru Ascent
2024 Subaru Ascent


What were the changes to IIHS evaluations for 2024?

Four major changes to IIHS evaluations have made earning an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK or IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ more challenging, starting with updates in 2023 and even tougher requirements for the 2024 model year: 

The biggest change last year was the replacement of IIHS’ original side crash test. The updated version of the test “uses a heavier barrier traveling at a higher speed.”  

With the initial change, an “Acceptable” or “Good” rating qualified a vehicle for the TOP SAFETY PICK award; however, starting this year, a minimum of the top “Good” rating is required for either a TOP SAFETY PICK or a TOP SAFETY PICK+ placement.  

Additionally, vehicles are now required to achieve an “Acceptable” or “Good” rating in an updated version of the pedestrian front crash prevention evaluation in order to qualify for either award.  

According to IIHS, “The new version replaces the earlier daytime and nighttime tests with a single evaluation that includes some test runs in daylight and some in the dark. Last year, vehicles could earn the lower-tier award regardless of whether they could detect and avoid pedestrians in the dark.” 

For this year, an “updated moderate front overlap test has replaced the original evaluation in the 2024 TOP SAFETY PICK+ requirements.” An “Acceptable” or “Good” rating is now required from the vehicle evaluation, “which adds a second dummy seated behind the driver and emphasizes back seat safety.”

On the other hand, the TOP SAFETY PICK award designation requires a “Good” rating from the original, rather than updated, moderate overlap test. Also, to earn either award, vehicles must receive “Good” ratings in a small overlap front crash, “in which 25% of the vehicle’s width on either side collides with another vehicle or a stationary object.”

In prior years, there were individual ratings for the driver’s side and the passenger’s side. But those have been combined into a single rating, where each crash test is performed and the rating is equivalent to the lower of both results. 

Finally, award winners for both awards must also achieve “Good” or “Acceptable” ratings for headlights in ALL trim levels. Previous years allowed awards for vehicles that achieved these ratings for optional headlights or those that were only available on top trim levels.

What Is the IIHS?

In 1959, three major insurance associations founded IIHS to support efforts to make America’s highways and vehicles safer.

IIHS reorganized into an independent research organization in 1969, overseen by Dr. William Haddon Jr., the first U.S. highway safety chief. According to IIHS, he led the transformation of the highway safety field from one focused solely on crash prevention to one using a modern, scientific approach to identify a full range of options for reducing crash losses.”

IIHS opened the Vehicle Research Center in central Virginia in 1992, a state-of-the-art facility where IIHS performs the crash tests that form the basis of its ratings.

What ratings does IIHS use for its TOP SAFETY PICK awards?

The IIHS crash tests vehicles at its facility in Virginia and provides a rating for how the vehicle performs using a range of criteria. IIHS provides a comprehensive explanation of how these tests are performed on its website.

Which awards does IIHS provide?

Awards from the IIHS come in two forms: TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+. The criteria for achievement change frequently as new technologies and test procedures are introduced.