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2018 Nissan Kicks, Sentra Earn Top Safety Nods from IIHS

We recently took a look at the safest 2019 models available on the market, as rated so far by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) via its stringent series of crash tests. But the American organization also continues to test 2018 model-year vehicles. It has announced that it is giving two 2018 Nissan models second-best marks.

Nissan’s new 2018 Kicks small crossover – here’s our review – and 2018 Sentra have both earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick rating.

Both models earned Good marks in the IIHS’ crash tests. The base model of the Kicks crossover earned a best-possible Superior rating for front crash prevention. The Sentra, for its part, earned the same distinction when equipped with certain optional equipment.

The two Nissan models fared worst in headlight performance, with the base models earning Poor ratings and some trims raising that to Acceptable.

According to the IIHS, models have at least available headlights rated Good, and achieve at least an Acceptable rating in passenger-side small overlap tests to merit the best-possible Top Safety Pick + designation. The Kicks did just that in the passenger-side test, while the Sentra has still to undergo passenger-side small overlap testing.

The safest brand?
The results mean that Nissan now counts five models carrying either the Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick + badge in 2018. In comparison, Kia has nine models so designated, Hyundai and Toyota eight each, Honda seven, Mazda five, and BMW and Acura four each.

Nissan Sentra
Photo: Nissan
Nissan Sentra