The Top 10 Safest Cars
As much as we love sleek styling, dynamic handling, and thrilling acceleration, we appreciate a strong suite of safety gear even more. After all, there may well come a time when maneuverability simply won’t be enough to prevent a crash. That’s when you’ll want your car to be as crashworthy as possible and outfitted with lots of life preserving technology.
Volvo has been top of mind for years when it comes to safety, and for good reason—passenger safety is the company’s foremost concern. Perhaps predictably then, you’ll see more Volvos on this list of the top 10 safest cars, than any other marque. However, Volvo isn’t the only brand out there building safe cars. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), whose crash testing is the most rigorous in the country, five other brands offer similar levels of crash protection.
To assemble this list, we considered only models the IIHS deemed Top Safety Picks +. These are vehicles designed to protect their occupants in a crash—as well as incorporating autonomous systems capable of preventing or mitigating front-to-rear crashes. These front crash prevention systems typically incorporate warning systems as well as automatic braking to help drivers avoid rear-ending a stopped or slower-moving vehicle in front of them.
To qualify as an IIHS Top Safety Pick +, vehicles must be capable of performing well in what’s known as the small overlap front crash test—in addition to the standard head-on, side, and rollover crash testing. The small overlap front crash test is designed to duplicate the effect of hitting another car or a stationary object with one of the front corners of your vehicle. This test is more difficult for a car to withstand than the standard head-on collision because the crash energy gets distributed in an uneven fashion through the car’s structure; making it more likely to intrude into the passenger compartment. To narrow the list of models down even farther to get to the top 10 safest cars, we only included cars that scored “Good” (the IIHS’s highest ranking from among Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor), and cars demonstrating the strongest showing in frontal crash prevention.
When all was said and done, the following cars emerged as the top 10 safest cars, based upon their performances in the crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.