Safety has long been a top reason for purchase for auto shoppers, and today’s customers benefit from an increasingly wide range of high-tech features like blind-spot warning systems, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic sensors, etc., etc. But even among sport-utility vehicles and crossovers—which already tend to do better in crashes because of their relatively large size—some choices stand out for being particularly protective of their passengers. For example, as of this moment, customers looking for safe SUVs in 2012 will find just 10 that have received both five-star overall safety scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Top Safety Pick Status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Thus, those were the ones that also have garnered a place on Autobytel’s own list of the Top 10 Safest SUVs of 2012.
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at our roster of safe sport utility vehicles for 2012, however—like the fact that not all of the current crop of entries have been tested by both organizations. Consider: Premium players like the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GL- and GLK-Class, and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque have not been rated by NHTSA, and probably won’t be, because the organization tends to focus on testing higher-volume models. On the other hand, some of the winners here are 2013 models that earned their recognitions for the 2012 selling season, but have not seen significant changes—or been tested again—in the interim.
But now it’s on with the show!