In order to earn the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s highest accolade, Top Safety Pick+, a car must withstand a battery of crash tests and safety evaluations with very few marks against it. It gets harder to achieve every year, but thejust sailed through.
The 2019 Acura RDX is the latest vehicle to earn the Top Safety Pick+ designation. It must earn a rating of Good in every crash test the IIHS offers, all of which are more involved than the standard federal crash tests. The RDX earned a Good rating in every test, including the brand new passenger small overlap front crash test, which was instituted just this year and has proven tricky for other automakers with older vehicles.
But it’s not just about crash tests. The RDX also needed to receive passing scores in evaluations of its safety systems. All trims of 2019 RDX come with automatic braking standard, and it avoided collisions at both 12 mph and 25 mph, earning the Institute’s highest rating of Superior. It was also commended for having child seat latches that were easy to find and attach to.
Many automakers still get tripped up over the IIHS’ headlight evaluations, which were recently included as part of the Top Safety Pick process. The RDX’s standard LED projector headlights earned a Good rating, despite its low beams creating some glare. However, the curve-adaptive headlights available on the higher Advance trim only received an Acceptable rating.
The 2019 RDX came out swinging when it debuted earlier this year. There’s a fair bit of performance on offer, thanks to a standard 272-horsepower, 2.0-liter I4 gas engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. It also packs the newest version of Acura’s infotainment system, which relies on a clever touchpad that is meant to emulate a phone’s screen without requiring the driver to tap the screen itself.