The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non-profit organization supported by auto insurers, has just released the list of the safest cars, SUVs, and trucks for 2017.

If you are wondering, which brand topped the ranking, that would be Toyota, which went home with nine citations. The automaker is trailed by Honda with five listed vehicles.

Safest Car Pick

The Top Safety Pick is an annual ranking of the safest vehicles based on actual tests that determine crashworthiness. This dominant criteria involves the manner by which a car protects a passenger in the event of a crash.

Other variables in consideration include front crash prevention, warning systems, and automatic braking system.

Top Pick+ List

For the latest list of safest vehicles, the IIHS listed 82 safest vehicles on account of their "good" rating earned across all the agency's crashworthiness tests. The number is reportedly record-breaking, prompting IIHS to increase the criteria for its elite Top Safest Pick+ list, which traditionally had more demanding crashworthiness requirements.

This year, aside from earning top ratings across the board in crash tests, those in the Pick+ roster had to offer frontal auto-braking systems that received either "advanced" or "superior" ratings.

Best Car Performers For 2017

Again, Toyota is currently on top of the heap with its 2017 Toyota Corolla, 2017 Toyota Prius, 2017 Toyota Camry, 2017 Toyota Prius V, 2017 Lexus ES 350, 2017 Lexus RC/NX/RX, and 2017 Toyota RAV4, all earning the Pick+ designation.

For small cars, the safest include the 2017 Chevrolet Volt, 2017 Hyundai Elantra, and the 2017 Mazda 3. Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Subaru also joined Toyota at the top of the Small SUV category.

The Midsize Car category featured the highest number of safe vehicles. Entries from Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and Volkswagen made the cut. Audi and Volvo, on the other hand, shined in the Midsize Luxury Cars category. The latter was able to snag to Pick+ designations for its 2017 Volvo S60 and V60 vehicles.

Meanwhile, Hyundai dominated the Large Luxury Cars segment, with its 2017 Genesis G80 and G90 earning the Pick+ designation alongside the Lexus RC.

It is interesting to note that 2017 Audi Q7 and the 2017 Honda Ridgeline occupied the lone spot in the Large SUV and Large Pickups segments, respectively.

Now, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has topped the Minivans category on its own. This vehicle is part of only three models that have been produced by domestic manufacturers. There is, of course, the Chevy Volt and the Buick Envision.

Honda's Acura range shared the spotlight with competing midsize luxury SUVs from Toyota, Buick, Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes Benz.

The overall number of vehicles that passed IIHS tests this year means that car safety is becoming a norm for automakers today. This should benefit consumers, as advanced safety features not only help in protecting passengers in the event of a crash but also in ensuring that it does not happen in the first place.

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