The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent group that tests the safety of new vehicles, has awarded its Top Safety Pick awards to a half-dozen new Kia cars and crossovers.
For the 2020 model year, the Telluride , Sorento, and Sportage crossovers received the Top Safety Pick rating. On the other side of the showroom, the Soul, Stinger, and Forte earned the same plaudits. It is worth noting that these models only get the designation when equipped with front crash prevention features and specific headlights.
“Kia has always made safety a top priority in our vehicles and we are proud to be recognized again by the IIHS for this commitment,” said Elias El-Achhab, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Canada.
To qualify for a Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn ‘Good’ ratings in the notoriously brutal driver- and passenger-side small overlap front crash test, the moderate overlap front crash test, plus tests determining the crashworthiness of the side, roof and head restraints. A rating of ‘Advanced’ or ‘Superior’ in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention is required as well. Finally, it must pass muster in terms of its headlights, earning an ‘Acceptable’ or ‘Good’ headlight rating.
It’s the latter measure that flummoxes most manufacturers, especially those who fit snazzier peepers to higher trims of certain vehicles. This is why a top-shelf Limited model might earn a Top Safety Pick but the lower-tier base model might not and why we called attention to the required presence of front crash prevention features and specific headlights to earn the award.
Some, but not all, trims of these models have these items as standard equipment. If the Top Safety Pick designation is important to you, make sure to do your homework before signing on the dotted line and all will be well.
Some vehicles are awarded a Top Safety Pick+ designation. The extra ‘+’ is given when those pesky headlights – bright ones which earn an ‘Acceptable’ or ‘Good’ rating – are fitted as standard equipment. By the way, ‘Good’ is the highest rating a car can receive in any individual test. Scientists aren’t known for their superlatives, after all.
Kia has been on a tear as of late, introducing dandy new vehicles at each end of the size spectrum, ranging from the large-and-in-charge Telluride to the city-friendly Seltos. Just three months ago, the brand celebrated selling its 1 millionth vehicle in Canada since launching in this country in 1999. That first year, Kia sold 1417 cars. Last year, about 76,000 Canadians drove a new Kia off the lot.