Safer cars can mean lower insurance rates
If you’re in the market for a new car, you want to make sure it’s a safe car, has excellent collision-avoidance features and performed well in crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiles an annual list of what it determines to be the safest cars released every year, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates each new vehicle on safety, grading it on a scale of one to five stars.
The NHTSA’s ratings primarily represent passenger safety data in test crashes. For the IIHS tests, there are two tiers of “Top Safety Picks.” Fifty-seven 2019 models received “Top Safety Pick” status, while only 30 vehicles received the highest honor, “Top Safety Pick+.” IIHS’ safety criteria include crash tests, headlamp performance and collision-mitigation features, such as automated braking.
For 2019, the only American-made vehicles that made IIHS’s “Top Safety Pick+” list are certain models of the Lincoln Continental. Hyundai and its sister line, Kia, as well as Subaru, Honda, and Toyota are well-represented on the list’s non-luxury categories. Audi and Mercedes-Benz had the best showings among luxury vehicles. Pickup trucks and large SUVs are almost entirely absent from the IIHS “Top Picks.”
Which Economy Cars are Safest?
The 2019 Honda Insight hybrid has automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and high-ranked (by IIHS, which is hard to impress on this front!) LED lights. The Insight also performed well in crash tests for both IIHS and NHTSA. They’re priced between $24,000-29,000.
Subaru Impreza Limited
If you go for the Impreza, spring for the driver-assistance package, with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. Be sure to note that only the Limited models have LED headlights, which means only these models received the highest IIHS rating. The other models have halogen headlights, which IIHS deems an unimpressive “marginal.” The Impreza Limited will run you about $26,000.
Which Luxury Cars Rate Highly?
All 2019 models of the Genesis G80 received top collision-avoidance marks, for features such as front-automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Upgrade to the Ultimate package or the Genesis G80 Sport model for IIHS’s top-safety rated headlights. The Genesis G80 costs between $47,000 and $57,000.
Lincoln Continental (upgraded models)
The standard 2019 Lincoln Continental doesn’t qualify as an IIHS Top Pick+, but the Reserve or Black Label models both have better headlights that make IIHS’s grade. All models have automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian detection, and blind-spot monitoring. The Top Pick+ models are between $65,000-71,000.
Every E-Class has automated emergency braking and LED headlights, but buyers can upgrade the standard headlights by selecting the Exterior Lighting package, which gives you adaptive LED lights and automatic beam-switching. Adding the drivers’ assist package expands safety features to include lane-keeping, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. These cars start at $57,000 and go as high as $110,000 (for the sports models).
Which Mid-Size Sedan Should I Buy?
Hyundai Sonata Limited
The Hyundai Sonata Limited has collision-avoidance features such as automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and pedestrian-detection technology. It also has LED headlights (with the exception of the Sonata SEI and Sports Trim models), and performed well in crash tests. The Limited costs between $28,000-33,000.
Kia Optima SX
This upgraded model of the Kia Optima has automated emergency braking, forward-collision warning and bright LED headlamps. It runs about $32,000-37,000.
What’s the Safest Crossover?
Subaru Outback Limited or Touring
Not only do these models of the Subaru Outback come with automated braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic beam-switching, you’ll get ultra-bright LED lights that earned an IIHL “good” rating. And IIHL doesn’t give dole that rating out easily! These models are between $34,000-40,000.
What SUVs Have Lots of Safety Features?
The Mazda CX-5 scores highly in crash and rollover tests. Standard features include rear-view camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and low-speed automatic braking. Add-on features include forward collision warning, full-speed automatic braking, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. The CX-5 is also fairly affordable at $24,000-35,000.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The Hyundai Santa Fe can be purchased with two-wheel or all-wheel drive. Standard safety features include blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, pedestrian-detection, forward-collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, and driver’s attention warning. The Santa Fe ranges from $26,000-39,000.
The 2019 RDX is completely redesigned and earned perfect scores on both the IIHL and NHTSA crash tests. Standard features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and lane departure warning. You can upgrade to include blind-spot assist and rear cross traffic alert. The sticker price is between $37,000-47,000.
How Safe Is My Current Car?
Want to find safety info on your current car? You can look it up by model and year here.
Need to insure a new or current vehicle? Contact one of our local agents today. Remember, safer cars can translate to lower insurance costs!