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2021 Nissan Altima, Toyota Sienna, Acura TLX Nab IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Awards

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the 2021 Nissan Altima, 2021 Toyota Sienna and 2021 Acura TLX the Top Safety Pick+ award, thus giving the sedans and the minivan its top safety blessing for the new year. The Altima thus has been given either the TSP (Top Safety Pick) or TSP+ designation every year since 2013. The Sienna becomes the second 2021 minivan, after the Honda Odyssey, to earn the award. Revisions made to the design of the TLX for 2021 helped it improve from its previous designation of Top Safety Pick.

See also: 2021 Mazda CX-30 Named IIHS Best-Possible Top Safety Pick+

See also: Safest Vehicles on the Road: The IIHS Gives 23 Models Top Safety Pick+ Ratings for 2020

See also: 2021 Honda Odyssey, 2020 Ford Explorer Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award

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The Altima

The 2021 Altima comes with a host of advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology, including standard intelligent all-wheel drive and Safety Shield 360 technologies and available ProPILOT Assist. Crucially for IIHS testing, the model comes with high beam assist as standard equipment, and we know that the IIHS has increasingly placed more emphasis on the performance of vehicles’ headlights in appraising their safety performance.

Specifically, the Altima earned a Superior mark in the front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle test, and Advanced in the Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-pedestrian test. Its headlights overall were deemed Acceptable. In terms of crashworthiness, it earned the Good grade across the board in the six different tests (Small overlap front: driver-side, small overlap front: passenger-side, moderate overlap front, moderate overlap side, roof strength and head restraints & seats).

See also: Nissan Altima: A History Stretching Back to the Late 60s…

The Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna
Photo: Toyota
2021 Toyota Sienna

Redesigned for 2021, the Toyota minivan rode an improved performance on the agency’s small overlap front crash test to the best-possible TSP+ designation. What was Acceptable is now Good in the view of the IIHS, as the model earned Good marks in all six crashworthiness tests, like the Altima. Its headlights rated Good. In terms of crash avoidance and mitigation, it was given a Superior mark in the front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle test, and Advanced in the Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-pedestrian test – again, like the Altima.

See also: 2021 Toyota Sienna First Drive: The Minivan Hybrid Arms Race Is On

The TLX

2021 Acura TLX
Photo: D.Boshouwers
2021 Acura TLX

The luxury car improved its performance in the crashworthiness tests to gain the top echelon on the IIHS’ safety ranking for 2021. Specifically, its game improved from Acceptable in 2020 to Good in 2021 in the driver-side small overlap front crash test. The model’s standard front crash prevention system earned it Superior ratings in the Institute’s vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests.

Like the other two new medal-winners, the TLX earned Good marks in all six crashworthiness tests, and it did the same for its headlights; it rated Superior in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention tests.

See also: 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec Review: Pretty Persuasion

“To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in those two crashworthiness evaluations, as well as the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also needs advanced or superior ratings for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention and must offer acceptable- or good-rated headlights across all trims.”

- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety