Before buying a new car many factors come into play when deciding on the best model for you and your family. One of the most important factors that come into play when purchasing a new vehicle is safety. The government provides crash test ratings that provide clear details on the safety of the vehicle you’re interested in. I’ve spent some time analyzing these numbers as well as consumer reports and car reviews to find the top 5 cars on the market in regards to safety.
2010-2011 Buick LaCrosse
Top choice in the large car category
The 2010 Buick LaCrosse earned the top safety pick in the large car category by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The LaCrosse boasts many safety enhancements including side airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights. Another key feature is the rollover sensor which is designed to release the side-curtain airbags if the sensor recognizes a rollover is imminent. The Lacrosse earned good ratings in all 5 categories (the highest rating possible) in frontal offset testing. The car also boasts the top marks in the large car categories in roof strength tests as well as side impact testing and rear crash protection. This would be a wise choice for a safe car for a larger family, or a couple who enjoy a spacious interior and four doors.
2006-2010 Audi A3
Rated #1 in the mid-size car category
The Audi A3 notches the top spot for mid-size car ratings according to crash test results provided by the IIHS. Side airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes come standard on the car. The Audi A3 scored good in all four test categories which include frontal offset testing, roof strength, and side impact testing, and rear crash protection. The airbags included in the A3 include front and rear head curtain airbags, as well as front seat-mounted torso airbags. Based on the analysis on the numbers this would be a wise choice with regards to safety for a small family.
2006-2010 Honda Civic 4-door
Safest car on the market in the small car category
The 2006-2010 Honda Civic 4-door provided superior marks in car safety for the small car category. However, the Si model scores moderately lower, so we recommend choosing one of the other models available. Standard features include daytime running lights, side air bags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes. When Honda redesigned the ever popular Civic back in 2006 they did it with safety in mind and this reflects in the crash test ratings for this model. Although it would be tight for a family, a couple will find this a perfect choice for a safe small car without destroying the pocketbook.
2010-2011 Ford Fiesta
Safest mini car on the market
The Ford Fiesta is a new Ford model introduced in 2010 with much fanfare. This new model tops the charts in the mini car market and provides top notch safety features in a small package. Along with exception safety standards, the car is economically priced and gets an outstanding 29 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg when traveling highway. If you’re interested in price, performance, and safety you can’t go wrong choosing the Ford Fiesta.
2003-2010 Honda Element
Small SUV winner in safety
The Honda Element model introduced in 2003 continues to hold the top spot in the small SUV category. This is the only non-car model however we included it for those interested in something a bit larger for families interested in quality and safety. We recommend choosing a 2007 model or newer based on the addition of side-airbags which increase the safety performance of the Element. With a spacious interior, decent gas mileage, and $20,500 base price, the Honda Element proves to be an exception value oriented option in the small SUV class.
“Safest Cars 2010 List”, In Auto News.
IIHS, “IIHS Vehicle Ratings”, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Katrina Ramser, “Safest Cars:2010 SUV’s”, Vehix.