The 8 safest cars to buy

You can’t completely avoid danger all the time. If you did, you’d never leave your home. But you can mitigate danger by making smart choices, like being selective about the car you drive. More than 50 vehicles were awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest honor of Top Safety Pick+ this year, giving you plenty to choose from if it’s time for a new car.

safest cars

What is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety?

Also known as the IIHS, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety carries out crash tests to check the safety of the head restraint, passenger-side small overlap, roof strength, side impact, driver’s moderate overlap front, and driver’s small overlap front.

To earn the Top Safety Pick+ rating, a vehicle must score at least “Good” in all six of the tests. It also needs to get an “Acceptable” or “Good” rating for its headlights and receive a “Superior” or “Advanced” rating for crash-prevention systems.

The safest cars to drive

The following is a list of the safest cars that have received the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ award this year.

1. Acura TLX

The Acura TLX was awarded “Superior” or “Good” marks in almost every IIHS test. All models come with LED high- and low-beam projector headlamps, as well as driver-assist technologies, such as automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, and blind-spot monitors.

2. Audi A6 and A6 Allroad

The Audi A6 and its Allroad wagon counterpart don’t just look amazing, but they’ll keep you safe on the road, too. The A6 Allroad scored slightly higher than the standard Audi in headlight testing, but the remaining results were almost identical. Both cars have incredibly strong roofs, with 22,702 pounds needed to crush them the standard five inches. 

3. Genesis G70

Don’t let its good looks fool you. The sleek sports car scored excellently across all of IIHS’s tests. Results varied between “Good” and “Superior” on crash tests and headlight measurements. The only thing that let the vehicle down was its child-seat latches which were difficult to use. But the automated emergency braking with smart pedestrian detection makes it difficult to turn down.

4. Honda Accord

The Honda Accord gets the highest scores possible in IIHS’s avoidance and crash prevention tests. Its secure child-seat anchors received a “Good+” rating, thanks to their latch positions which are easy to find and use. The vehicle received an “Acceptable” headlight rating, which is most likely because its high-beam lights use halogen reflectors instead of LED reflectors. 

5. Kia K5

The Kia K5 is another car that does incredibly well in IIHS’s tests. The vehicle earned “Superior” and “Good” ratings in almost every category. The only exception is the ease-of-use for its latch system, which still received an “Acceptable” rating. The mid-size sedan’s standard LED headlights also received an “Acceptable” rating.

6. Lexus IS

Since the summer of 2017, the Lexus IS has received a huge safety update. The luxury car company reinforced the front of the car and its doors, as well as modified the footwell. These small changes mean the car received fantastic crash test ratings across the board. The standard headlights got higher ratings than the optional premium extras, making them not worth the extra cash.

7. Mazda 3 Sedan and Hatchback

Although the Mazda CX-5 is three times more popular than the Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback, the latter two models are much safer than their SUV sibling. The Mazda 3 was awarded “Superior” and “Good” ratings in all the crash tests and scored higher than the CX-5 for its easy-to-use child-seat anchors and its ability to avoid a front-end crash with a pedestrian.

8. Mercedes-Benz E-class Sedan

If you’ve got your heart set on a Mercedes, you can’t go wrong with any from the E-class sedan range. This stylish car was awarded the Top Safety Pick+ rating by IIHS. Although the standard forward-collision system only received a “Basic” rating, the car’s optional enhanced setup received a “Superior” score. 

Play it safe

Getting involved in an accident certainly isn’t on your to-do list but with millions of accidents in the US every year, there is a small chance you could have a collision on the road. To keep you, your family, and your friends safe, it’s wise to do the best you can and choose one of the safest cars there is. This way, if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, you and your passengers could walk away with minimal injuries.