Vehicle size and weight are significant factors contributing to your ability to survive in a collision. “All other things being equal,” says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “occupants in a bigger, heavier vehicle are better protected than those in a smaller, lighter vehicle.”
That’s good advice. But here’s the problem: smaller and lighter vehicles tend to be more affordable and fuel efficient, and not everybody can afford to go and lease a gas-guzzling Cadillac Escalade.
If safety is of the greatest importance to you, buy the largest and heaviest vehicle you can afford, whether it is new or used.
If, however, you’re like me and you prefer to drive a smaller and more nimble car, these are the 11 models that are likely to best protect you in a collision*. They’re listed in order of their base curb weights with an automatic transmission, from the lightest to the heaviest model.
* As of February 1, 2016. Base prices include an automatic transmission. Fuel economy reflects the combined EPA rating for the base engine and automatic transmission.