Honda Motor Co. has topped the insurance industry’s annual list of the safest new vehicles.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Thursday gave 39 vehicles top safety ratings for 2014. That is dramatically fewer than the 130 on the list last year because vehicles now must meet tougher standards.
For the first time, the vehicles need top crash test scores and a good front crash prevention system — such as warning systems or automatic braking — to get its highest designation. Vehicles are now ranked as either a ‘‘Top Safety Pick’’ or ‘‘Top Safety Pick +’’ if they meet the front crash protection criteria as well. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.