KIA Insider

Audi e-tron's Top Safety Pick+ Award is a first for EVs

The 2019 Audi e-tron has become the first all-electric vehicle to earn the Top Safety Pick+ award from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Audi introduced the e-tron for the 2019 model year. To qualify for this top IIHS award, a vehicle must earn the top “Good” rating in six crash evaluations, receive an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating for front crash protection, and a “Good” rating for headlights.

While some vehicles earn the Top Safety Pick+ award only for certain trim levels that are optionally equipped with high-tech safety technologies or headlamps, the IIHS said the e-tron met the list with its standard equipment, which includes LED headlamps with automatic high-beam assist.

Crash testing is performed in the U.S. by the IIHS, a non-profit group that’s funded by insurance companies, and by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The two use slightly different methods for testing and rating; NHTSA uses a five-star rating, while the IIHS rates by Poor, Marginal, Acceptable, and Good.

Recent announcements of other new vehicles earning the Top Safety Pick+ award include the Lexus NX, the Hyundai Nexo fuel-cell vehicle, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 when equipped with specific headlights, and the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, along with the 2019 BMW 3 Series and X5 (both with specific headlamps), and the 2019 Kia Stinger and 2020 Kia Soul when equipped with optional crash prevention and headlamp options.

Among the vehicles earning the next-step-down Top Safety Pick, all when equipped with optional technologies or headlamps, are the 2019 Infiniti QX60, the 2020 Kia Telluride, the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, 2019 Lexus UX, 2020 Toyota Corolla, 2019 Mazda6, and 2019 Hyundai Veloster, and 2019 Volkswagen GTI. The 2019 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime earned the award with standard equipment.