2019 Honda HR-V picks up IIHS Top Safety Pick with big improvements

After years of just-OK results, the refreshed 2019 Honda HR-V has picked up a safety commendation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The IIHS announced this week that the 2019 Honda HR-V has picked up the safety group’s second-highest award, Top Safety Pick. Previous iterations of Honda’s subcompact SUV lacked the scores to vault it to award-eligible status, but clearly, some under-the-skin improvements have benefited this car in a big way.

In order to be eligible for Top Safety Pick, a car must achieve the top Good rating in every one of the IIHS’ crash tests, which go above and beyond the five-star-system crash tests the government uses. The 2019 HR-V earned a Good rating in every crash test, including the new small-overlap passenger side crash test. Previous model years only achieved an Acceptable rating in the driver-side version of this test, rendering it ineligible for Top Safety Pick.

The tests go beyond mere crashes. The IIHS also evaluates active and passive safety systems, and when equipped with Honda’s optional Honda Sensing suite that includes autobrake, the HR-V achieved the top Superior rating. Headlights also factor into the equation, with the LED peepers on the up-rated Touring trim earning an Acceptable rating — a Good rating would have moved the HR-V to the highest award, Top Safety Pick+. The halogen projector lights on lower trims earned a Poor rating, the IIHS’ lowest.

The 2019 HR-V joins a few other Honda models with a Top Safety Pick award, including the 2019 Accord, 2019 CR-V, 2019 Odyssey and 2019 Pilot. The 2019 Honda Insight is the only Honda to earn Top Safety Pick+ so far this year.