The safest cars of 2019: Japan and South Korea take up 80%, Volvo and Tesla are not in the list.

The safest cars of 2019: Japan and South Korea take up 80%, Volvo and Tesla are not in the list.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced the list of the safest vehicles in 2019. A total of 57 vehicles from 15 brands were shortlisted, of which 30 received TSP + (Super Top Safety Award) and 27 received TSP (Top Safety Award).

Want to see if there is your car?

  1. Testing standards were upgraded, more winners are coming

IIHS was founded in 1959 and is known as the most stringent vehicle safety testing agency on the planet.

How strict is it? The domestic C-IASI adopts a standard similar to IIHS. Among the first critical test models of C-IASI this year, Honda Civic, Volkswagen Tiguan L and other magic cars were immediately “hit into the wall”, their strictness can be described this way.

IIHS released the TSP list in 2006 and began to release the TSP + list in 2013. It is conceivable that the models that can be selected among them all must have experienced some “inhuman destruction” and still can guarantee “personnel safety”.

The rating standards are:

Good+, Good, Acceptable, Marginal, Poor.

It is worth noting that even though the IIHS standards are already very strict, the testing standards will still be raised from time to time. This year the IIHS raised the TSP + standard for the sixth time, mainly due to the improvement of two standards:

The first is to raise the minimum entry standard for small-area biased collisions on the passenger side introduced in 2017, from “Acceptable” up to “Good”; the second is to raise the minimum entry for the headlight test introduced in 2016, this standard has been raised from “Acceptable” to “Good”.

As a result of the improvement of these two standards, 17 models that could have obtained TSP +, respectively, have stopped at the TSP title.

So what are the models listed this year? Let’s see them.

  1. Japan and Korea are dominating, have Volvo and Tesla vanished?

Out of the 57 finalists, 35 are sedan cars, 20 are SUVs, and 2 are MPVs. Maybe the SUV is relatively tall and easy to give people a sense of security, but this does not mean that the safety of the SUV must be better than that of a regular car. What is better illustrates that body weight and safety are not necessarily related, none of the larger pickups is on the list.

There is also news that the Nordic luxury brand Volvo, which is famous for safety, did not appear on the list of 2019. We must know that Volvo is a frequent guest on various safety lists around the world. Three models won the TSP title in the same period last year.

Tesla, the leader of electric vehicles, was not selected because it did not provide vehicles for evaluation. On the surface, it may be that Elon Musk is busy with the “Going to the Space” (rocket launch and tunnel engineering) project. In early 2017, IIHS announced the collision results of four new energy vehicles. Tesla Model S had the worst performance and failed to obtain the highest safety honor TSP +. The reason is: in the 25% offset collision, only “Acceptable” was obtained, and the headlight test obtained a “Poor”.

Tesla was very angry at the time, thinking that IIHS as a non-governmental organization has certain subjective factors. The implication is that it pays more attention to the government-led NHTSA collision result-Model S scored 5 points in all individual tests and scored the highest NHTSA history total score of 5.4 points.

  1. Subaru is the brand number one, Hyundai is the first of the group.

Although Japan and South Korea have the most finalists, each brand is still different. So who is the biggest winner of the “Super Top Security” TSP + brands?


Not surprised? TSP + is the niche brand Subaru.

However, this is not the first time that Subaru has won the first place. Last year’s list, Subaru also had four models shortlisted for TSP +, which was also the first in a single brand.

Although Subaru is said to be the single brand with the most TSP +, the Hyundai Group is actually the biggest winner. As we all know, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis belong to the Hyundai Group. In fact, when it comes to Korean brands, it means the Hyundai Group.

Toyota Group

Toyota Group has three vehicles that received TSP + evaluation: Toyota Asia Dragon, Toyota Camry and Lexus ES.


Three Mercedes-Benz models have received TSP + evaluation, namely the E-class four-door sedan, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Mercedes-Benz GLE, and the C-class four-door version has received TSP evaluation.

Honda Group

Honda Group has two TSP + evaluations, namely Honda Insight and Acura RDX. The Accord, the leading protagonist CR-V, Pilot and Odyssey have just won TSP evaluation.


The BMW 5 Series and X3 were shortlisted for the TSP + list, while the X2 received a TSP rating.


The last one to get a TSP + rating was the Mazda CX-5. In addition, the CX-3 and CX-9 received a TSP rating. This result, many readers may say “good.” However, Mazda could have done better, because the five models it selected in 2017 (Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX-3, CX-5, CX-9) all received TSP + title!

Although IIHS is strict, it still can only be used as a reference. On the one hand, the absence of Volvo and Tesla made the selection slightly inferior; on the other hand, the winning model may not necessarily be the same as the domestic brand and model.

So if you really want to buy a “TSP +” car, we suggest that you still pay attention to C-IASI.

Author Image
Michael Aniston

Michael started with a master's degree in finance before he went into technology and coding. He is now a freelance journalist and video producer living in Berlin, Germany. When he doesn't write, he will travel many countries.