2019 Toyota RAV4 Earns Highest Safety Honor (But Only on Top Hybrid Model)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated the 2019 Toyota RAV4 a Top Safety Pick Plus, the agency’s highest designation. The RAV4 scored good — the best rating on a scale of good, acceptable, marginal or poor — in all six of the agency’s crash tests. It also has a standard front crash prevention system that IIHS rates superior on a scale of superior, advanced or basic.

Related: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Review: Delivers More, Costs More

Where things get tricky is that, of the three sets of available headlights on RAV4 models, only the Hybrid Limited-exclusive adaptive LED headlights earned the good rating necessary for the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. The other two sets of headlights earn either marginal or poor ratings, which would prevent the RAV4 from earning either Top Safety Pick Plus or the lower Top Safety Pick designation.

IIHS standards for 2019 dictate that for a Top Safety Pick Plus designation, a vehicle needs a score of good in six crashworthiness tests — driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front and side crash tests, as well as roof strength and head restraint tests — along with an advanced or superior rating for available front crash prevention systems and a good headlight rating. Top Safety Pick designees are allowed an acceptable rating in both the passenger-side small overlap front crash test and the headlight test.

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Competitors with a Top Safety Pick Plus designation include the 2019 Subaru Forester, Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5. The 2019 Honda CR-V is a Top Safety Pick. All of those vehicles earned those ratings with specific headlights, usually only available on higher trims. The CR-V and Tucson both have optional front crash prevention systems, whereas the Forester’s and CX-5’s qualifying systems are standard.

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