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How the 2016 Toyota Highlander Can Keep Its Top Safety Rating

The 2015 model needs to change, particularly the Highlender. Here’s why.

The Insurance Institue for Highway Safety does the best and most comprehensive safety testing for the North American auto market. Since IIHS showed up, vehicles have gotten safer, and not just in full-frontal crashes. IIHS pushed hard for many small things like whiplash protection and active safety like forward collision prevention with auto-braking. Over time, IIHS toughens its standards. So once in a while, a vehicle that earned the Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) designation, the highest safety rating possible, gets left behind as the standard gets harder to meet. The 2015 Highlander is a perfect example.

The 2015 Highlander scored the highest rating of “Good” on four out of five crash tests, but on the newest test, the small frontal overlap test that simulates hitting a telephone pole with the front corner of the vehicle, the 2015 Highlander scored “Acceptable.” Last year, that was the threshold for TSP+. This year, IIHS requires a score of “Good” on every crash test. So the Highlander could loose its top ranking. However, Toyota is a company that works very hard to earn the top rating on all its models, particularly one so important as the Highlander, which is clearly a family vehicle. So Toyota has been hard at work changing the Highlander to be even safer.

We reached out IIHS and found out that the 2016 Highlander model will soon be re-tested. The Highlander already has available advanced collision prevention as part of the Toyota Safety Sense System. The most affordable auto-braking package on the market. We do root for successful safety outcomes. Once the 2016 Highlander is tested we will report the results post-haste.

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