The Honda Insight is only 1 of 2 vehicles that come standard with LED headlights without having to spend more plus provides enough visibility at night to get the Top Safety Pick+ rating.Safety features have become a key differentiator among today's vehicles. Automakers tout safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, like badges of honor. However, shoppers may not know that most cars on the market today can't achieve the agency's highest rating without pricey options. At the moment, the group's top rating is "Top Safety Pick+". Somewhat confusingly, the agency still uses a separate designation called "Top Safety Pick" even though it's no longer the highest score. The difference is that TSP+ has a higher standard for headlights and the agency's front & passenger-side small overlap crash tests. Interestingly, our analysis of the latest test ratings found that virtually none of the group's TSP+ vehicles can achieve the score without optional equipment.
We reached out to IIHS spokesperson Russ Rader, who confirmed that there are in fact just two vehicles able to achieve a TSP+ score without options: the Honda Insight and Genesis G90. The Insight starts at $23,850 but is largely a niche model. The G90 sells in small numbers and starts above $70,000. We suspect most consumers would find all of this incredibly confusing. Quirks such as these will mean that shoppers will have to do their diligence by reading any and all fine print, looking for language like "as tested" or "with optional equipment" in advertisements.