The redesigned 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, a small SUV, earns a TOP SAFETY PICK award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
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The requirements are tougher for both the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK and higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+ award in 2023. Acceptable or good headlights are now required across all trims for either award, rather than only for the higher accolade.
In addition, the updated side test, in which a heavier striking barrier hits the test vehicle at a higher speed, replaces the original side evaluation. Vehicles must earn an acceptable or good rating to qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK. A good rating is required for the “plus.”
The TOP SAFETY PICK+ criteria also include a new nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test. Advanced or superior performance is required in both the nighttime and daytime pedestrian tests for the higher award. For TOP SAFETY PICK, only a daytime rating of advanced or superior is required.
As before, to earn either award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front and original moderate overlap front tests. The roof strength, head restraint and vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention evaluations are no longer part of the award criteria.
Outlanders built after May 2023, when Mitsubishi made changes to the front driver-side torso airbag and several other improvements, meet the criteria for the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK award.
These vehicles come equipped with a standard front crash prevention system that earns a superior rating in the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation, and good-rated LED reflector headlights are supplied with all trims. IIHS has not evaluated the nighttime performance of the front crash prevention system. ■
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