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2014 Toyota Highlander earns highest safety rating, Top Safety Pick+

Most mid-size SUVs cannot earn the top rating in this class. The new Highlander is simply better.

Toyota’s new 2014 Highlander has earned the United States’ most coveted safety rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ designation. This level of safety is only awarded to vehicles which do well all around in the safety tests and crash tests. Furthermore, in order to qualify a vehicle must have forward collision mitigation, and also score at least “acceptable” on the small frontal overlap test. This is the most thorough and highly respected safety evaluation in the US.

The 2014 Toyota Highlander has now proven to be superior with regards to safety in comparison to some of its key competitors. For example, the Honda Pilot, perhaps the Highlander’s clsoest marketplace rival, did not earn this rating. In fact, David Zuby, IIHS’ Chief Research Officer, commented on one part of the testing and said “The Honda Pilot was the worse performing mid-size SUV in this group.”

The 2014 Toyota Highlander was able to make the jump to Top Safety Pick+ in part because it earned an “acceptable” rating on the very challenging small frontal overlap test. This new test, added by IIHS after all the automakers started scoring well on all tests, is the most difficult to do well on. General Motors should be applauded for its two entrants, the Equinox, and the Terrain, which both scored “good” on the small frontal overlap section of the testing.

Toyota had been lagging with regard to the small frontal overlap test. The 2014 Camry finally did well enough to regain its Top Safety Pick+ rating after modifications and retesting. The 2014 Corolla scored “marginal”, and the RAV 4 “poor.”

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