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2016 Toyota Corolla

Paul Giamou/Toyota

After crashing, measuring and testing all of the 2017 models, the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded 38 vehicles the top rating.

The IIHS, which rates how well cars perform in crash tests, said 10 fewer cars received the highest designation this year after it raised standards for headlight performance. Only seven of these 38 are available with headlights that earned a good rating.

In photos: How crashing cars makes them safer

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In addition to headlight quality, IIHS gives points for technology that helps drivers avoid crashes, such as automatic braking.

"The field of contenders is smaller this year because so few vehicles have headlights that do their job well, but it's not as small as we expected when we decided to raise the bar for the awards," said IIHS president Adrian Lund, in a statement. "Manufacturers are focusing on improving this basic safety equipment, and we're confident that the winners' list will grow as the year progresses."

For the 2016 model year, 79 models ended the year as a top safety pick, even though only 48 began the year with that designation.

Nine Toyota brand vehicles and five Honda brand vehicles were among the top picks. Only three cars from the big three U.S. auto makers made the list, including the Chysler Pacifica.

The IIHS has arguably done more to advance the crash-worthiness of today's cars than any government group, reported Globe Drive's Jeremy Sinek on a visit to one of its facilities last year. The goal is to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries to pay out less in insurance claims.

Here is the full list of 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ vehicles:

Small cars

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  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Hyundai Elantra (sedan only; built after March 2016)
  • Mazda 3 (4-door sedan, 4-door hatchback
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Prius (built after August 2016)

Mid-size cars

  • Honda Accord four-door
  • Mazda6
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Prius V
  • Volkswagen Jetta

Mid-size luxury cars

  • Audi A4
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Volvo S60
  • Volvo V60

Large luxury cars

  • Genesis G80
  • Genesis G90
  • Lexus RC

Small SUVs

  • Mazda CX-3
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Subaru Forester (built after October 2016)
  • Toyota RAV4

Mid-size SUVs

  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Santa Fe (built after March 2016)

Mid-size luxury SUVs

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  • Acura MDX
  • Acura RDX
  • Audi Q5
  • Buick Envision
  • Lexus NX
  • Lexus RX
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
  • Volvo XC60

Minivan

  • Chrysler Pacifica (built after August 2016)

Large pickup

  • Honda Ridgeline
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